National Tribal Advisory Committee On Behavioral Health - Charter
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Refer to: OCPS/DBH
- Federal Advisory Committee Act
- Effective Date
- PURPOSE. The National Tribal Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Behavioral Health promotes communication between elected Tribal leaders and Indian Health Service (IHS) federal officials to improve behavioral health services through Nation-to-Nation dialogue. The NTAC on Behavioral Health provides a forum through which Tribal leaders exchange information, advice, and views related to the management and implementation of behavioral health initiatives, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, telebehavioral health, and family violence prevention programs serving the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population. The NTAC meetings consist of federal representatives and elected Tribal leaders (or their designated alternate or appointee, who is an employee with authority to act on their behalf) from each of the IHS Areas.
- AUTHORITY. The NTAC is established at the discretion of the IHS Director using authority found in Section 204 of Public Law 104-4 (Unfunded Mandates Reform Act [UMRA] of 1995), codified at 2 U.S.C. § 1534(a). The NTAC is established to comply with the statutory provisions as set forth at 2 S.C. § 1534(b)(1) and (2). The method of selecting Tribal leader members of the NTAC is designed to acknowledge the role of Tribal governments and their elected officials with regard to discussion of Behavioral Health programs and policy issues.
- SCOPE. Members of the public may be present at committee meetings, i.e., in the audience as observers, but since members of the public are not allowed on the committee, they may not participate in any committee discussions, or any other committee business, during the meetings. This forum will provide the opportunity to meet with other IHS national advisory workgroups in order to develop and coordinate the integration of IHS Members of the NTAC and IHS will discuss, collaborate, and recommend areas of shared responsibility for items identified in Section 4 of this charter.
- The NTAC on Behavioral Health will:
- Input and Recommendations. Provide Tribal input and recommendations to the IHS Director regarding priority behavioral health trends and interests.
- Make recommendations and provide advice on policy issues concerning behavioral health issues, barriers to access, and delivery of services to AI/ANs.
- Provide advice and guidance to ensure the incorporation of appropriate culture, traditions, and values in program development and community-based activities;
- Partnerships. The NTAC engages in activities in support of the IHS efforts to develop and maintain partnerships with Tribes and Tribal organizations, Urban Indian Organizations, and research organizations to promote the coordination and collaboration of federal behavioral health resources for the benefit of the AI/AN populations.
- Summaries. Provide summaries of its meetings to the IHS. The summary will be produced by the IHS Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) Staff Liaison and approved by the IHS DBH Director.
- Tribal Leader Member. One primary Tribal leader member and one Tribal leader alternate from each IHS Area shall be nominated by the respective IHS Area Director in consultation with Area Tribes.
- Such consultation will be conducted in a manner that provides impartial consideration of all potential candidates.
- A Tribal leader member is defined as an elected or duly appointed official of a Federally Recognized Tribe. Should both the primary and the alternate Tribal leader member be unable to attend, the primary Tribal leader member shall identify an acting member to attend on behalf of their respective IHS Area through a letter of appointment from the Tribal Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Legislative Council of the Tribe that the Primary or Alternate Representative was nominated. The alternate or acting member must be an appointed or elected Tribal leader, or a designated employee with authority to act on their behalf. The acting member must be an appointed or elected Tribal leader representative to vote.
- Director, IHS, Appointees. The IHS Federal Co-Chairperson will keep the Director apprised of NTAC issues, decisions, recommendations, and concerns. The Federal Co-Chairperson also serves as the IHS Senior Agency Representative.
- Length of Terms. In recognition of the variety of procedures used to determine committee representation within each IHS Area and Tribal organization, the NTAC membership is not subject to term limits. Changes in the NTAC membership are to be submitted to the NTAC in writing by the appropriate Area Director or Tribal Chairperson.
- Tribal Co-Chairperson. The NTAC will select a Co-Chairperson from within its membership during the first meeting. The term of the Co-Chairperson shall be determined by the NTAC members representing the 12 IHS Areas. The Tribal Co-Chairperson works collaboratively with Tribal leaders and the Federal Co-Chairperson to ensure maximum attendance among Tribal leader members. The Tribal Co-Chairperson works in coordination with the Federal Co-Chairperson to lead NTAC meetings and direct the NTAC workgroups toward executing the activities and/or requests of the NTAC. The Tribal Co-Chairperson works in coordination with the Federal Co-Chairperson to adjudicate conflicts arising during the conduct of NTAC business. The Tribal Co-Chairperson is required to attend each NTAC meeting in which a vote will take place.
- Federal Co-Chairperson. The Director of the DBH will serve as the Federal Co-Chairperson of the NTAC. The Federal Co-Chairperson works in coordination with the Tribal Co-Chairperson to lead NTAC meetings and direct the NTAC workgroups toward executing the activities and/or requests of the NTAC. The Federal Co-Chairperson works in coordination with the Tribal Co-Chairperson to adjudicate conflicts arising during the conduct of NTAC business. The Federal Co-Chairperson also serves as the IHS Senior Agency Representative. In the absence of a Federal Co-Chairperson, the IHS Director will designate an IHS Federal Co-Chairperson alternate to act as the Federal Co-Chairperson.
- Staff Liaison. The Staff Liaison will be designated by the Federal Co-Chairperson. The IHS DBH Staff Liaison shall act as a liaison with the NTAC and will provide all meeting materials (notices, correspondence, etc.) to primary Tribal leader members and to alternate leader members at least one week prior to the scheduled NTAC meeting.
- Re-Election. The Tribal Co-Chairperson may be re-elected by the NTAC.
- Removal or Departure.
- Missed Meetings. If a primary Tribal leader member is unable to attend a scheduled NTAC meeting, the primary Tribal leader member shall notify the alternate Tribal leader members. Should the alternate Tribal leader member be unable to attend, the primary Tribal leader member shall identify an acting member to attend on behalf of their respective IHS Area through a letter of appointment from the Tribal Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Legislative Council of the Tribe that the primary or alternate representative was The alternate or acting member must be an appointed or elected Tribal leader, or a designated employee with authority to act on their behalf. The acting member must be an appointed or elected Tribal leader representative to vote. The Federal Co-Chairperson will report meeting attendance at the IHS Area Director meetings on a regular basis.
- Replacement Request. If a designated Area representative does not participate in a scheduled meeting or teleconference on two successive occasions, the respective IHS Area Director will be notified with a recommendation to initiate the process of replacing the Area representative(s).
- Vacancy. When a vacancy occurs, the Area Director or Tribal organization shall notify the NTAC of the vacancy within 30 days and initiate the appropriate process to name a new primary representative. The alternate will attend meetings until the vacancy is filled.
- Each Tribal leader or Tribal leader alternate member seated at the table and the IHS Federal Co-Chairperson or IHS Federal Co-Chairperson alternate shall be allowed one vote.
- If the official primary or alternate Tribal leader member is not present, the primary Tribal leader member will identify an acting member to attend on behalf of their respective IHS Area through a letter of appointment from the Tribal Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Legislative Council of the Tribe that the Primary or Alternate Representative was nominated. The alternate or acting member must be an appointed or elected Tribal leader, or a designated employee with authority to act on their behalf. The acting member must be an appointed or elected Tribal leader representative to vote.
- No voting shall take place without a quorum. See “Quorum” definition in Section 6B.
- Majority Rules. All votes will be counted, and each decision will follow the vote of the majority. In the event of a tie, the alternate from the IHS Area from which the Tribal Co-Chairperson originates will vote in place of the Tribal Co-Chairperson, and the Tribal Co-Chairperson will cast an additional tie-breaking vote.
- Technical Advisors. Technical Advisors are not members of the workgroup, cannot vote, and cannot participate in consensus advice to the IHS. They are permitted to provide individual technical advice to individual workgroup members when requested by that member. Each organization listed below will select one technical advisor and one alternate.
- National Congress of American Indians.
- National Indian Health Board.
- IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee.
- IHS Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee.
- National Council of Urban Indian Health.
- IHS Facilities Appropriation Advisory Board.
- Meetings. Depending on funding availability, the NTAC will convene at least one in-person meeting annually. Other meetings, by means of virtual or teleconference, etc., will convene no less than once per quarter. Meeting details including dates, times, and meeting content/material to be discussed will be coordinated by NTAC Co-Chairpersons.
- Quorum. A quorum is established when at least six IHS Area Tribal leader members and the Tribal Co-Chairperson are present for the duration of the meeting. One in-person meeting will take place regardless of quorum. Additional in-person meetings shall not take place without a quorum confirmed. Virtual or teleconference meetings may take place without a quorum. The minutes of the meeting will be distributed to all Tribal leader members and Co-Chairpersons following the meeting.
- Travel. Travel arrangements, logistical details, and reimbursement will be coordinated and provided, either directly by the IHS DBH or through its designated agent.
- FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT. Although the NTAC is established pursuant to the UMRA exemption to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the FACA may apply to the NTAC activities. The FACA is implicated when an Agency establishes, manages, or controls a group that includes one or more participants who are not Federal employees for the purpose of obtaining the group’s advice or recommendations on Agency issues or policies. Accordingly, if at any time the group is not in compliance with the UMRA, the activities may implicate the requirements of the FACA.
- AMENDMENT. This charter may be amended by this IHS Director or their designee. An amendment recommendation to the IHS Director or their designee requires a two-thirds affirmative vote of the NTAC members.
- SUPERSEDURE. None.
- EFFECTIVE DATE. This charter becomes effective on the date of the signature.
/Elizabeth A. Fowler/
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service