Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

VCAT Charter

National Institute of Standards and Technology
Charter of the
Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology

1. Committee's Official Designation (Title). Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT or Committee)

2. Authority. In accordance with 15 U.S.C. 278 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., the Secretary of Commerce hereby recharters the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology.

3. Objectives and Scope of Activities. 

a. The Committee shall review and make recommendations regarding general policy for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST or Institute), its organization, its budget, and its programs, within the framework of applicable national policies as set forth by the President and the Congress.

b. The Committee shall provide an annual report, through the Director of NIST, to the Secretary of Commerce for submission to the Congress not later than 30 days after the submittal to Congress of the President's annual budget request in each year. Such report shall deal essentially, though not necessarily exclusively, with policy issues or matters which affect NIST, or with which the Committee in its official role as the private sector policy adviser of NIST is concerned. Each such report shall identify areas of research and research techniques of the Institute of potential importance to the long-term competitiveness of United States industry, in which the Institute possesses special competence, which could be used to assist United States enterprises and United States industrial joint research and development ventures. Such report also shall comment on the programmatic planning document and updates thereto submitted to Congress by the Director under subsections (c) and (d) of section 278i of the NIST Act. The Committee shall submit to the Secretary and the Congress such additional reports on specific policy matters as it deems appropriate.

4. Description of Duties. The Committee will function solely as an advisory body, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

5. Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports. The Committee shall report to the Director of NIST. 6. Support. The NIST Director's Office shall provide staff support for the Committee.

7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years.  The annual cost of operating the Committee is estimated at $172,700, which includes 1.1 work years of staff support.

8. Designated Federal Officer. The Designated Federal Officer (DFO) will be the Executive Director of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology and is appointed by the NIST Director. The DFO (or his or her designee) will: approve or call all Committee meetings; prepare and approve all meeting agendas; attend all Committee meetings; adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest; and chair meetings when directed to do so by the Director of NIST.

9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings. The Committee will meet at least twice each year at the call of the chairperson, except that additional meetings may be called whenever one-third of the members so request in writing. The Committee shall not act in the absence of a quorum, which shall consist of a majority of the members of the Committee not having a conflict of interest in the matter being considered by the Committee.

10. Membership and Designation.

a. The Director of NIST shall appoint the members of the Committee. Members shall be selected on a clear, standardized basis, in accordance with applicable Department of Commerce guidance. Members shall be selected solely on the basis of established records of distinguished service; shall provide representation of a cross-section of traditional and emerging United States industries; and shall be eminent in fields such as business, research, new product development, engineering, labor, education, management consulting, environment, and international relations. No employee of the Federal Government shall serve as a member of the Committee.

b. Members shall serve as Special Government Employees (SGEs) and will be subject to the ethics standards applicable to SGEs.

c. The Committee shall consist of fifteen members appointed by the Director of NIST, at least ten of whom shall be from United States industry. The term of office of each member of the Committee shall be three years, except that vacancy appointments shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of the vacancy. Members shall serve at the discretion of the Director of NIST.

d. Any person who has completed two consecutive full terms of service on the Committee shall be ineligible for appointment for a third term during the one year period following the expiration of the second term.

e. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 278(f), the Committee chairperson and vice chairperson shall be elected by the members of the Committee. The vice chairperson shall perform the duties of the chairperson in his or her absence. In case a vacancy occurs in the position of the chairperson or vice chairperson, the Committee shall elect a member to fill such vacancy.

f. Members of the Committee will not be compensated for their services, but will, upon request, be allowed travel expenses in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5701 et seq., while attending meetings of the Committee or of its subcommittees, or while otherwise performing duties at the request of the chairperson, while away from their homes or a regular place of business.

g. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 278(g), the Committee may, with the concurrence of a majority of its members, permit the appointment of a staff consisting of not more than four professional staff members and such clerical staff members as may be necessary. Such staff members shall be appointed by the Director after consultation with the chairperson of the Committee, and assigned at the direction of the Committee.

11. Subcommittees. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 278(e), the Committee shall have an executive committee, and may delegate to it such functions of the Committee as it deems appropriate. The Committee and/or the Director of NIST may establish such other subcommittees, task forces, and working groups consisting of members from the parent Committee as may be necessary, subject to the provisions of FACA, the FACA implementing regulations, and applicable Department of Commerce guidance. Subcommittees must report back to the Committee and any recommendations based on their work will be deliberated and agreed upon by the Committee prior to dissemination to NIST.

12. Recordkeeping.  The records of the Committee, formally and informally established subcommittees, or other subgroups of the Committee, shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 or other approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552. The DFO will oversee recordkeeping and appropriate filings.

13. Duration/Termination.  This charter shall terminate two years from the date of its filing with the appropriate U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Oversight Committees unless earlier terminated or renewed by proper authority.

Signed by Ellen Herbst, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, Filing Date 1/15/2014

Created June 2, 2009, Updated September 9, 2021