PCPID Quarterly Meeting: June 16–17, 2011
President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Announcements, Meeting Announcements, Publication (Documents and Resources), Meeting Minutes
- Meeting Minutes, Meeting Announcement
Afternoon Session, June 16, 2011
Chairman Brett opened the afternoon session by announcing the agenda, which included presentations by the leadership of different agencies within the executive branch. The Chair stated that it was an opportunity to meet key policy makers who play major roles in daily operations of the Administration. He then introduced the White House Liaison, from the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike McCauley, who gave an update on his role and responsibilities.
Role of White House Liaison
Mike McCauley, White House Liaison
Mr. McCauley thanked the Committee on behalf of the President and the Secretary and the leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He told members that the Administration appreciated their willingness to serve.
Mr. McCauley stated that there is a White House Liaison at each cabinet agency, with responsibility to advise cabinet secretaries and senior leadership and manage the political personnel program. He mentioned that his office advises and assists the HHS Secretary and her Chief of Staff on the management of committee activities, including all federal advisory committees within the Department’s jurisdiction, as well as the 250 Presidential Advisory Committees similar to PCPID. Mr. McCauley reported that an important change to the PCPID charter was made, to align the Committee with the ADD. The Secretary and the White House made the decision because ADD and PCPID have similar missions. The PCPID Executive Order charters the Committee to promote full participation of people with intellectual disabilities in their communities through the development of an annual report, which is consistent with the mission of ADD. Mr. McCauley continued that this realignment will help make the important work that the Committee does more effective, knowing the strength that will come from combined efforts. He shared that he is the sibling of an adult with Down Syndrome, and said that he personally appreciates the Committee’s work and services.
Dr. Spitalnik thanked Mr. McCauley for all of his efforts. She pointed out that the 50th anniversary of the Committee, when President John F. Kennedy first appointed the Blue Ribbon Panel, would be on October 11, 2012, and recommended placing it on the collective calendar and consciousness. Mr. McCauley thanked Dr. Spitalnik for the reminder and stated that the Administration would take the Committee’s 50th anniversary into consideration, as it works with the members to plan for future activities.
In response to an inquiry from Ann Hardiman, Chairman Brett asked Commissioner Lewis to clarify the role of the National Council on Disability (NCD) in relationship to PCPID. Ms. Lewis noted that NCD was established under the Rehabilitation Act and is an independent organization that operates as a board with full-time agency staff that looks at disability issues across the government and is charged with advising the Congress, as well as the President, as opposed to PCPID, which is primarily to advise the Secretary and the President.
Ms. Roach added that NCD is one of the 13 PCPID ex-officio members and organizations. The NCD representative to the Committee is Mr. Gary Blumenthal.
Ms. Quirk inquired if there was a vetting process for the Annual Report to the President. Commissioner Lewis responded that PCPID is an independent Committee and will establish the report and the recommendations that will go through a nominal legal clearance process, because the report is subjected to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. She asked Laverdia Roach if she had anything to add. Laverdia stated that, as the report goes through an internal Departmental clearance, there should be no substantive change to the Committee’s approved draft, unless it is discovered that there is some statement that is inconsistent with departmental policies, at which time the draft would have to be modified. Ms. Quirk asked if the Department was DHHS. Laverdia answered affirmatively, but advised that all ex officio agencies, listed in PCPID Executive Order must also approve the report.
Commissioner Lewis stated that President Obama’s Administration is committed to InterOperability and collaboration across agencies, in terms of clearance processes. She noted that, because this will be the Committee’s first report under this Administration, whether or not the clearance process vets out through agencies remains to be seen. The Commissioner stated that it was a policy decision by the Administration to ensure that agencies be given the opportunity to comment on various pieces of testimonies, policies, proposed rules, before “they go out the door.”
Chairman Brett expressed the Committee’s appreciation to Mr. McCauley for his update and time.
PCPID Procedures Manual
Laverdia Roach, PCPID Chairman Brett introduced Ms. Laverdia Roach who has served the Committee as an Acting Executive Director since January 21, 2009. Ms. Roach provided an extensive overview of PCPID procedures. She mentioned that the purpose of the presentation was to share information developed over five decades about PCPID’s mission, role, and organization structure, functioning, and mandate to present an Annual Report to the President.
Ms. Roach stated that a major goal is to have the Committee function as efficiently as possible in executing its mission to be the voice for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and to improve the quality of their daily lives. She reminded members that although their expected tenure is two years, they serve at the pleasure of the President.
Laverdia discussed the Committee’s legal responsibilities in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), its history, and the roles and responsibilities of the Committee Chair (see attached document). In summarizing the primary responsibility of the Committee, she urged members to remember that they have one responsibility: that is to prepare the Annual Report to the President. The PCPID Executive Order requires the Committee to prepare a report to the President to apprise him of the status of the national efforts to prevent and ameliorate the effects of intellectual disabilities and to improve the quality of life experience by people with intellectual disabilities. Ms. Roach encouraged Committee members to first determine the focus areas that they believe are currently impacting people with intellectual disabilities in a way that prevents them from enjoying life to the fullest, and then to select from those focus areas, topic or that they believe will make the greatest impact. She added that there has not been a printed report since 2004, and that this Committee’s report will be the first presented to President Barack Obama.
After summarizing the review process for the report, Ms. Roach invited questions.
Ms. Carol Quirk asked if the last report, in 2009, went to the President. Ms. Roach responded that it went to the White House, but was never published. Carol asked why it was not published. Laverdia expressed that it was the policy of the last Administration to have reports of the Committee “on hold” until the White House approved printing/publication. The President had up to two years to approve the publication of the report.
Dr. Spitalnik asked how often the full Committee will meet per year to work on the report. She also asked if there were any financial resources available to the Committee. Laverdia replied that the PCPID Charter calls for no less than two face-to-face meeting per fiscal year. Chairman Brett remarked that it used to be quarterly and Ms. Roach concurred, suggesting that the Committee meet again in the fall before the end of the fiscal year, which would constitute the two meetings for this fiscal year.
Dr. Spitalnik asked if it would meet before September 30th, Ms. Roach responded affirmatively. Laverdia also stated that part of the rationale for the realignment is so that PCPID may have fiscal and personnel resources available that it did not have previously.
In response to a question regarding the frequency of Committee Meetings via conference call, in addition to the two face-to-face meetings, Laverdia stated that most of the PCPID subcommittees (if members agree to form subcommittees) have customarily meet via audio conferencing. She noted that, in such instances, individual members need only place a call to the PCPID office requesting the opportunity to meet via telephone conferencing, and staff will make arrangements.
Ms. Weintraub asked about the language in the Report to the President. Ms. Roach responded that all PCMR-PCPID Reports are 508 compliant, and in lay language easy for self-advocates to read and comprehend.
Mr. Boatwright asked about the timeframe in which the Annual Report to the President would be due. Laverdia clarified that the report is due by the end of each calendar year. She noted that because of the extensive review by ex officio agencies, however, it is prudent that the final draft of the report be ready by mid to late November. Ms. Wheeler asked a similar question regarding the timeframe to have this particular report ready. Laverdia replied that for this report mid November would be an ideal time. At the end of her presentation, Ms. Roach stated that the Committee will not meet again as a full body, face-to-face, until the fall. The audio conferencing options will be available for interim meetings.
Approval of the Agenda
James Brett, PCPID Chair
Chairman Brett asked for a motion to approve the agenda. Mr. La Mell made the motion which was seconded by Dr. Spitalnik. The motion was carried, without discussion, and Chair declared that the agenda was unanimously approved.
Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)
Patricia Mantoan, Office of the General Counsel
Ms. Mantoan started her presentation by explaining the importance of FACA requirements and the statute governing Federal and Presidential Advisory Committees. She explained that the purpose of FACA is to bring transparency and openness to the advisory Committee process and to allow public participation.
Ms. Mantoan outlined some of the statutory requirements of FACA and explained that the burden for compliance rested with the agency, not with the Committee members. She highlighted types of meetings that are not required to be public; including, administrative and subcommittee meetings. She defined subcommittees, as consisting of two or more members to draft reports for presentation to the full Committee at an open meeting; and stated that subcommittees are not legally required to have open meetings, as long as their role is strictly to advise the larger parent committee. Ms. Mantoan emphasized that a subcommittee would be in violation of the law if it prepares recommendations and shares them directly with the President or a Federal Official without the approval of the full Committee. She explained that the Committee’s annual report is filed with the Library of Congress to allow researchers to have access to the past reports. Ms. Mantoan closed her presentation by stressing the importance of compliance with FACA requirements, and then invited questions.
In response to Dr. White-Scott’s question regarding why eight copies of the Committee’s report is filed with the Library of Congress, Ms. Mantoan replied that it is a quirk in the Federal Advisory Committee Act which actually specifies eight copies.
Chairman Brett thanked Ms. Mantoan for her presentation and introduced Naomi Miske, Associate Counsel for Ethics Education, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.