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Establishment of Commerce Data Advisory Council; Solicitation of Nominations for Membership

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Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), Department of Commerce.


Notice of establishment of the Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC) and solicitation of nominations for membership.


Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1512 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, hereinafter the Act), the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, Economics and Statistics Administration, announces the establishment of the Commerce Data Advisory Council (CDAC) by the Secretary, Department of Commerce. The CDAC will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on ways to make Commerce data easier to find, access, use, combine, and disseminate, and on other such matters as the Secretary determines. The Council will continue for two years unless renewed by the Secretary, Department of Commerce. With the exception of the limitations set out in 41 CFR part 102-3, the Under Secretary for Start Printed Page 68407Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Secretary, Department of Commerce, will execute the functions and implement the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and its implementing regulation. This notice also requests nominations for membership on the Council.


The Economics and Statistics Administration must receive nominations for members by midnight December 3, 2014.


Submit nominations to the email account, this account is specifically set up to receive Data Advisory Council applications.

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Burton Reist, Director of External Affairs, Economics and Statistics Administration, Department of Commerce, at (202) 482-3331 or email, also at 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington D.C. 20230.

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I. Background

The Department of Commerce (Department) collects, compiles, analyzes, and disseminates a treasure trove of data, including data on the Nation's economy, population, and environment. This data is fundamental to the Department's mission and is used for the protection of life and property, for scientific purposes, and to enhance economic growth. However, the Department's capacity to disseminate the increasing amount of data held and to disseminate it in formats most useful to its customers is significantly constrained.

In order to realize the potential value of the data the Department collects, stores, and disseminates, the Department must minimize barriers to accessing and using the data. Consistent with privacy and security considerations, the Department is firmly committed to unleashing its untapped data resources in ways that best support downstream information access, processing, analysis, and dissemination.

The CDAC will provide advice and recommendations, to include process and infrastructure improvements, to the Secretary on ways to make Commerce data easier to find, access, use, combine and disseminate. The aim of this advice shall be to maximize the value of Commerce data to all users including governments, businesses, communities, academia, and individuals.

The Secretary will draw CDAC membership from the data industry with a focus on recognized expertise in collection, compilation, analysis, and dissemination. As privacy concerns span the entire data lifecycle, expertise in privacy protection also will be represented on the Council. The Secretary will select members that represent the entire spectrum of Commerce data including demographic, economic, scientific, environmental, patent, and geospatial data. The Secretary will select members from the information technology, business, non-profit, and academic communities, and state and local governments. Collectively, their knowledge will include all types of data Commerce distributes and the full lifecycle of data collection, compilation, analysis, and dissemination. The membership balance plan is not static and may change, depending on the needs of the Secretary and the work of the Council.

II. Description of Duties

The Council shall advise the Secretary on ways to make Commerce data easier to find, access, use, combine, and disseminate. Such advice may include recommended process and infrastructure improvements. The aim of this advice shall be to maximize the value of Commerce data to governments, businesses, communities, and individuals.

In carrying out its duties, the Council may consider the following:

  • Data management practices that make it easier to track and disseminate integrated, interoperable data for diverse users;
  • Best practices that can be deployed across Commerce to achieve common, open standards related to taxonomy, vocabulary, application programming interfaces (APIs), metadata, and other key data characteristics;
  • Policy issues that arise from expanding access to data, including issues related to privacy, confidentiality, latency, and consistency;
  • Opportunities and risks related to the combination of public and private data sources and the development of joint data products and services resulting from public-private partnerships;
  • External uses of Commerce data and similar federal, state, and private data sets by businesses; and,
  • Methods to enhance communication and collaboration between stakeholders and subject-matter experts at Commerce on data access and use.

Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees, is the governing instrument for the CDAC.

III. Structure

The Council shall consist of up to 15 members. The Secretary shall appoint members and they shall serve at the pleasure of the Secretary. Members shall represent a cross-section of business, academic, non-profit, and non-governmental organizations. The Secretary will choose members of the Commerce Data Advisory Council who ensure objectivity and balance, a diversity of perspectives, and guard against potential for conflicts of interest. Members shall be prominent experts in their fields, recognized for their professional and other relevant achievements and their objectivity. In order to ensure the continuity of the Commerce Data Advisory Council, the Council shall be appointed so that each year the terms expire of approximately one-third of the members of the Council. Committee members serve for terms of two years and may be reappointed to any number of additional terms. Initial appointments may be for 12-, 18-and 24-month increments to provide staggered terms.

The Secretary shall select the members and chair. The Secretary may also appoint non-voting ex officio members, or designees of such officials, as the Secretary deems necessary for the Commerce Data Advisory Council to effectively carry out its functions. As necessary, the Secretary may approve the establishment of subcommittees composed of members of the parent Council to perform specific functions within the Council's jurisdiction. The Designated Federal Officer shall notify the Department Committee Management Officer upon establishment of each subcommittee, and shall provide information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.

When vacancies occur, the Secretary will select replacements who can best either replicate the expertise of the departing member or provide the CDAC with a new, identified needed area of expertise. An individual chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the remainder of the term of the member replaced. A vacancy shall not affect the exercise of any power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council.

All members of the Commerce Data Advisory Council shall adhere to the conflict of interest rules applicable to Special Government Employees as such employees are defined in 18 U.S.C. section 202(a). These rules include relevant provisions in 18 U.S.C. related to criminal activity, Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Start Printed Page 68408Branch (5 CFR part 2635), and Executive Order 12674 (as modified by Executive Order 12731). Management and support services shall be provided by the Economics and Statistics Administration.

IV. Compensation

Membership is under voluntary circumstances and therefore members do not receive compensation for service on the Commerce Data Advisory Council. Members shall receive per diem and travel expenses as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 5703, as amended, for persons employed intermittently in the Government service. Members who are officers or employees of the United States Government shall not receive compensation for service on the Council.

V. Nominations

The Secretary will consider nominations of all qualified individuals to ensure that the CDAC includes the areas of subject matter expertise noted above (see ”Structure”). Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals, and professional associations and organizations may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership on the CDAC. Nominations shall state that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the Council.

A nomination package should include the following information for each nominee: (1) A letter of nomination stating the name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., what specific attributes recommend him/her for service in this capacity), and the nominee's field(s) of expertise; (2) a biographical sketch of the nominee and a copy of his/her curriculum vitae; and (3) the name, return address, email address, and daytime telephone number at which the nominator can be contacted.

The Department of Commerce has special interest in assuring that women, minority groups, and the physically disabled are adequately represented on advisory committees; and therefore, extends particular encouragement to nominations for appropriately qualified female, minority, or disabled candidates. The Department of Commerce also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the Council. All nomination information should be provided in a single, complete package within 30 days of the publication of this notice. Interested applicants should send their nomination package to the email or postal address provided above.

Potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations of the Council to permit evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest. Finally, nominees will be required to certify that they are not subject to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (22 U.S.C. 611) or the Lobbying Disclosure Act (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

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Dated: November 3, 2014.

Austin Durrer,

Chief of Staff for Under Secretary for Economic Affairs.

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[FR Doc. 2014-26778 Filed 11-14-14; 8:45 am]