Skip to site content

Director's Policy Advisory Council - Charter

Public Health Service
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Refer to: OD


Effective Date:  10/04/17


  1. PURPOSE.  The Director's Policy Advisory Council (DPAC) serves as a policy advisory group to the Director, Indian Health Service (IHS).  As such, it focuses on issues related to strategic direction, recommended policy, and organizational adjustments called for by changes in the health systems environment.
  2. AUTHORITY.  The DPAC is established by Agency authority to facilitate the accomplishment of the Agency's mission.  The DPAC is composed wholly of full-time officers or employees of the IHS (Federal Government employees) and is not governed by provisions of Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 United States Code, Appendix 2), the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Section 3(2)(C)(i), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

    The DPAC has no direct line authority, nor authority to obligate funds or direct resources.  At the discretion of the Director, the DPAC will carry out the responsibilities identified in this circular and any additional responsibilities assigned by the Director.

    The DPAC may request additional authorities and staff support through Headquarters senior staff, as necessary.

    1. Liaison.  Establish and maintain continuous position as liaison among the IHS senior staff, Headquarters Office Directors, and Area Directors on systems issues involving strategic direction and policy.
    2. Recommendations.  Develop recommendations for Agency-wide policy on matters that directly affect the mission of the IHS, as requested by the Director.
    3. Work Groups.  Monitor and facilitate workgroups to address strategic issues and policies for the Agency. This includes ensuring existing workgroups address the priority Agency-wide policy issues as well as forming workgroups specifically to evaluate and develop policy at the DPAC's request.
    4. Operational Issues.  Identify and refer operational issues to the Area Directors and Headquarters staff responsible for such issues.
    5. Communicate.  Provide regular communication on DPAC work and activities to the Director, IHS senior staff, Headquarters Office Directors, and Area Directors.
    6. Memorialization.  All work of the DPAC shall be memorialized.  Such records shall be maintained by the DPAC and be available to the Director and IHS senior staff.  Any and all records formed by, for or about the DPAC's operation, findings and recommendations are confidential, pre-decisional and deliberative.

    Governing criteria for DPAC assignments are outlined below:

    1. DPAC assignments must be assigned by the Director.
    2. In general, issues appropriate for the DPAC's consideration will have:
      1. a high impact on the Agency's mission; and
      2. potential benefits that are significant, measurable, achievable and consistent with the strategic direction of the Agency.
    3. The DPAC's work should be prioritized according to the vision and priorities of the Director.
    1. The DPAC shall consist of 9 members total.
    2. DPAC membership parameters are outlined below:
      1. All members of the DPAC serve at the pleasure of the Director.
      2. Individual members will be appointed by the Director.
      3. The Director will designate one of the nine members to serve as DPAC Chair and one of the remaining eight members to serve as DPAC Co-Chair.  The DPAC Chair is responsible for coordinating the work of the DPAC and ensuring the DPAC is responsive to its assignments.  The DPAC Co-Chair will assist the Chair in guiding the work of the DPAC and will direct the group in the absence of the Chair.
    3. Upon establishment of the DPAC, and no less than on an annual basis thereafter, the Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs, Deputy Director for Management Operations and Chief Medical Officer shall offer recommendations to the Director on the membership of the DPAC.
  6. MEETINGS.  The DPAC will schedule its meetings as necessary and in consultation with the Director.
  7. DECISION-MAKING.  The DPAC will make every reasonable effort to reach consensus in determining their recommendations to the Director.  If the DPAC is unable to reach consensus, the Chair is responsible for submitting a memo to the Director and senior staff that outlines each competing point of view with pros and cons described for each.
  8. REPORTS.  The DPAC Chair will assign and coordinate the drafting of reports, position statements, and recommendations and will present the reports to the Director, IHS.
  9. SUPERSEDURE.  This circular supersedes IHS Circular No. 05-04, "Director's Executive Council - Charter," dated August 4, 2005, in its entirety.

    This IHS Circular is effective upon the date of signature.

/Michael D. Weahkee/
RADM Michael D. Weahkee, MBA, MHSA
Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service
Acting Director
Indian Health Service

Distribution:  IHS-wide
Date:  October 04, 2017