[USC02] 38 USC PART I, CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER III: ADVISORY COMMITTEES
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38 USC PART I, CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER III: ADVISORY COMMITTEES
From Title 38—VETERANS' BENEFITSPART I—GENERAL PROVISIONSCHAPTER 5—AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

SUBCHAPTER III—ADVISORY COMMITTEES

§541. Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War

(a)(1) The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War (hereinafter in this section referred to as the "Committee").

(2)(A) The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Secretary from the general public and shall include—

(i) appropriate representatives of veterans who are former prisoners of war;

(ii) individuals who are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to disabilities prevalent among former prisoners of war, including authorities in epidemiology, mental health, nutrition, geriatrics, and internal medicine; and

(iii) appropriate representatives of disabled veterans.


(B) The Committee shall also include, as ex officio members, the Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits, or their designees.

(3) The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Committee appointed by the Secretary, except that the term of service of any such member may not exceed three years.

(b) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the administration of benefits under this title for veterans who are former prisoners of war and the needs of such veterans with respect to compensation, health care, and rehabilitation.

(c)(1) Not later than July 1 of each odd-numbered year through 2009, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that pertain to veterans who are former prisoners of war. Each such report shall include—

(A) an assessment of the needs of such veterans with respect to compensation, health care, and rehabilitation;

(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and

(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers to be appropriate.


(2) The Secretary shall, within 60 days after receiving each report under paragraph (1), submit to the Congress a copy of the report, together with any comments concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.

(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.

(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted to the Congress pursuant to that section.

(Added Pub. L. 102–83, §2(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 392; amended Pub. L. 102–405, title III, §302(c)(1), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1984; Pub. L. 106–419, title IV, §403(c)(2), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1864; Pub. L. 108–454, title VIII, §803, Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3626.)

Prior Provisions

Prior section 541 was renumbered section 1541 of this title.

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 221 of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–83, §2(a).

Amendments

2004—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 108–454 substituted "2009" for "2003".

2000—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 106–419 inserted "through 2003" after "each odd-numbered year" in introductory provisions.

1992—Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 102–405 substituted "Under Secretary for Health" for "Chief Medical Director" and "Under Secretary for Benefits" for "Chief Benefits Director".

Termination of Advisory Committees

Advisory committees established after Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of their establishment, unless, in the case of a committee established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such committee is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a committee established by the Congress, its duration is otherwise provided by law. See section 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§542. Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

(a)(1) The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to as "the Committee").

(2)(A) The Committee shall consist of members appointed by the Secretary from the general public, including—

(i) representatives of women veterans;

(ii) individuals who are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of women veterans, including the gender-specific health-care needs of women;

(iii) representatives of both female and male veterans with service-connected disabilities, including at least one female veteran with a service-connected disability and at least one male veteran with a service-connected disability; and

(iv) women veterans who are recently separated from service in the Armed Forces.


(B) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members—

(i) the Secretary of Labor (or a representative of the Secretary of Labor designated by the Secretary after consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment);

(ii) the Secretary of Defense (or a representative of the Secretary of Defense designated by the Secretary of Defense after consultation with the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services); and

(iii) the Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits, or their designees.


(C) The Secretary may invite representatives of other departments and agencies of the United States to participate in the meetings and other activities of the Committee.

(3) The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Committee appointed by the Secretary, except that a term of service of any such member may not exceed three years. The Secretary may reappoint any such member for additional terms of service.

(b) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the administration of benefits by the Department for women veterans, reports and studies pertaining to women veterans and the needs of women veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department, including the Center for Women Veterans.

(c)(1) Not later than July 1 of each even-numbered year, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that pertain to women veterans. Each such report shall include—

(A) an assessment of the needs of women veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department;

(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and

(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.


(2) The Secretary shall, within 60 days after receiving each report under paragraph (1), submit to the Congress a copy of the report, together with any comments concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.

(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.

(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to such section.

(Added Pub. L. 102–83, §2(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 393; amended Pub. L. 102–405, title III, §302(c)(1), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1984; Pub. L. 104–275, title V, §501(e)(1), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3341; Pub. L. 106–419, title IV, §403(c)(3), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1864; Pub. L. 109–444, §5, Dec. 21, 2006, 120 Stat. 3308; Pub. L. 109–461, title II, §208(b), title X, §1006(b), Dec. 22, 2006, 120 Stat. 3413, 3468; Pub. L. 110–387, title VIII, §808, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4141; Pub. L. 111–163, title II, §204(a), May 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 1144.)

Prior Provisions

Prior section 542 was renumbered section 1542 of this title.

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 222 of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–83, §2(a).

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(iv). Pub. L. 111–163 added cl. (iv).

2008—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 110–387 struck out "through 2008" after "year" in introductory provisions.

2006—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109–461, §1006(b), provided that as of the enactment of Pub. L. 109–461, the amendments made by Pub. L. 109–444 were deemed for all purposes not to have taken effect and that Pub. L. 109–444 ceased to be in effect. See Amendment notes below and section 1006(b) of Pub. L. 109–461, set out as a Coordination of Provisions With Pub. L. 109–444 note under section 101 of this title.

Pub. L. 109–461, §208(b), substituted "2008" for "2004" in introductory provisions.

Pub. L. 109–444, which substituted "2008" for "2004" in introductory provisions, was terminated by Pub. L. 109–461, §1006(b). See Amendment notes above.

2000—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 106–419 inserted "through 2004" after "each even-numbered year" in introductory provisions.

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–275 inserted ", including the Center for Women Veterans" before period at end.

1992—Subsec. (a)(2)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 102–405 substituted "Under Secretary for Health" for "Chief Medical Director" and "Under Secretary for Benefits" for "Chief Benefits Director".

Change of Name

Reference to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment in any law in force on Nov. 6, 1986, deemed to be a reference to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training, see section 2(b)(3) of Pub. L. 99–619, set out as a References in Other Laws note under section 553 of Title 29, Labor.

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–163, title II, §204(c), May 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 1144, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 544 of this title] shall apply to appointments made on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [May 5, 2010]."

Termination of Advisory Committees

Advisory committees established after Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of their establishment, unless, in the case of a committee established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such committee is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a committee established by the Congress, its duration is otherwise provided by law. See section 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§543. Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs

(a) There is in the Department an advisory committee known as the Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs (hereinafter in this section referred to as the "Committee").

(b) The objectives and scope of activities of the Committee shall relate to—

(1) prosthetics and special-disabilities programs administered by the Secretary;

(2) the coordination of programs of the Department for the development and testing of, and for information exchange regarding, prosthetic devices;

(3) the coordination of Department and non-Department programs that involve the development and testing of prosthetic devices; and

(4) the adequacy of funding for the prosthetics and special-disabilities programs of the Department.


(c) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee on the matters described in subsection (b).

(d) Not later than January 15 of 1993, 1994, and 1995, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary and the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the effectiveness of the prosthetics and special-disabilities programs administered by the Secretary during the preceding fiscal year. Not more than 60 days after the date on which any such report is received by the Secretary, the Secretary shall submit a report to such committees commenting on the report of the Committee.

(e) As used in this section, the term "special-disabilities programs" includes all programs administered by the Secretary for—

(1) spinal-cord-injured veterans;

(2) blind veterans;

(3) veterans who have lost or lost the use of extremities;

(4) hearing-impaired veterans; and

(5) other veterans with serious incapacities in terms of daily life functions.

(Added Pub. L. 102–405, title I, §105(b)(1), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1975.)

Prior Provisions

Prior section 543 was renumbered section 1543 of this title.

Change of Name

Pub. L. 102–405, title I, §105(a), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1975, provided that: "The Federal advisory committee established by the Secretary and known as the Prosthetics Service Advisory Committee shall after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 9, 1992] be known as the Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs and shall operate as though such committee had been established by law. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Committee may, upon the enactment of this Act, meet and act on any matter covered by subsection (b) of section 543 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (b) of this section."

Termination of Advisory Committees

Advisory committees established after Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of their establishment, unless, in the case of a committee established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such committee is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a committee established by Congress, its duration is otherwise provided by law. See section 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§544. Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans

(a)(1) The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to as "the Committee").

(2)(A) The Committee shall consist of members appointed by the Secretary from the general public, including—

(i) representatives of veterans who are minority group members;

(ii) individuals who are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of veterans who are minority group members;

(iii) veterans who are minority group members and who have experience in a military theater of operations;

(iv) veterans who are minority group members and who do not have such experience; and

(v) women veterans who are minority group members and are recently separated from service in the Armed Forces.


(B) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members, the following:

(i) The Secretary of Labor (or a representative of the Secretary of Labor designated by the Secretary after consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment).

(ii) The Secretary of Defense (or a representative of the Secretary of Defense designated by the Secretary of Defense).

(iii) The Secretary of the Interior (or a representative of the Secretary of the Interior designated by the Secretary of the Interior).

(iv) The Secretary of Commerce (or a representative of the Secretary of Commerce designated by the Secretary of Commerce).

(v) The Secretary of Health and Human Services (or a representative of the Secretary of Health and Human Services designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services).

(vi) The Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits, or their designees.


(C) The Secretary may invite representatives of other departments and agencies of the United States to participate in the meetings and other activities of the Committee.

(3) The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Committee appointed by the Secretary, except that a term of service of any such member may not exceed three years. The Secretary may reappoint any such member for additional terms of service.

(4) The Committee shall meet as often as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate, but not less often than twice each fiscal year.

(b) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the administration of benefits by the Department for veterans who are minority group members, reports and studies pertaining to such veterans and the needs of such veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department, including the Center for Minority Veterans.

(c)(1) Not later than July 1 of every other year, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that pertain to veterans who are minority group members. Each such report shall include—

(A) an assessment of the needs of veterans who are minority group members with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department;

(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and

(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.


(2) The Secretary shall, within 60 days after receiving each report under paragraph (1), submit to Congress a copy of the report, together with any comments concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.

(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.

(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to such section.

(d) In this section, the term "minority group member" means an individual who is—

(1) Asian American;

(2) Black;

(3) Hispanic;

(4) Native American (including American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian); or

(5) Pacific-Islander American.


(e) The Committee shall cease to exist September 30, 2022.

(Added Pub. L. 103–446, title V, §510(a), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4668; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title V, §501(e)(2), (f), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3341; Pub. L. 106–117, title VIII, §803, Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1586; Pub. L. 108–183, title VII, §703, Dec. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 2671; Pub. L. 110–389, title VIII, §808, Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4189; Pub. L. 111–163, title II, §204(b), May 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 1144; Pub. L. 113–175, title IV, §404, Sept. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 114–58, title IV, §406, Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 535; Pub. L. 114–228, title IV, §406, Sept. 29, 2016, 130 Stat. 940; Pub. L. 115–62, title IV, §406, Sept. 29, 2017, 131 Stat. 1164; Pub. L. 115–251, title I, §166, Sept. 29, 2018, 132 Stat. 3171.)

Prior Provisions

Prior section 544, added Pub. L. 90–77, title I, §108(a), Aug. 31, 1967, 81 Stat. 180; amended Pub. L. 91–588, §3(a), Dec. 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 1583; Pub. L. 93–527, §5, Dec. 21, 1974, 88 Stat. 1704; Pub. L. 94–169, title I, §105, Dec. 23, 1975, 89 Stat. 1017; Pub. L. 94–432, title II, §205, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1371; Pub. L. 95–204, title I, §104, Dec. 2, 1977, 91 Stat. 1457, authorized an increase by $79 of the monthly rate of pension payable to the surviving spouse if the surviving spouse was entitled to pension under subchapter III of chapter 15 of this title and was in need of regular aid and attendance, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 95–588, title I, §112(a)(1), title IV, §401, Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2505, 2511, effective Jan. 1, 1979.

Another prior section 544, Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1139, authorized the payment of a pension to children of World War II or Korean conflict veterans, prior to the general amendment of subchapter III of chapter 15 of this title by Pub. L. 86–211, §4, Aug. 29, 1950, 73 Stat. 434. See sections 1542 and 1543 of this title.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 115–251, §166(b), substituted "every other year" for "each year" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–251, §166(a), substituted "September 30, 2022" for "September 30, 2018".

2017—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–62 substituted "September 30, 2018" for "December 31, 2017".

2016—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 114–228 substituted "December 31, 2017" for "December 31, 2016".

2015—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 114–58 substituted "December 31, 2016" for "December 31, 2015".

2014—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–175 substituted "December 31, 2015" for "December 31, 2014".

2010—Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(v). Pub. L. 111–163 added cl. (v).

2008—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 110–389 substituted "December 31, 2014" for "December 31, 2009".

2003—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–183 substituted "December 31, 2009" for "December 31, 2003".

1999—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–117 substituted "December 31, 2003" for "December 31, 1999".

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–275, §501(e)(2), inserted ", including the Center for Minority Veterans" before period at end.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–275, §501(f), substituted "December 31, 1999" for "December 31, 1997".

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–163 applicable to appointments made on or after May 5, 2010, see section 204(c) of Pub. L. 111–163, set out as a note under section 542 of this title.

§545. Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans

(a)(1) There is in the Department the Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to as the "Committee").

(2) The Committee shall consist of not more than 18 members appointed by the Secretary from among individuals who—

(A) have demonstrated significant civic or professional achievement; and

(B) have experience with the provision of veterans benefits and services by the Department.


(3) The Secretary shall seek to ensure that members appointed to the Committee include individuals from a wide variety of geographic areas and ethnic backgrounds, individuals from veterans service organizations, individuals with combat experience, and women.

(4) The Secretary shall determine the terms of service and pay and allowances of the members of the Committee, except that a term of service may not exceed two years. The Secretary may reappoint any member for additional terms of service.

(b)(1) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the provision by the Department of benefits and services to veterans in order to assist veterans in the readjustment to civilian life.

(2)(A) In providing advice to the Secretary under this subsection, the Committee shall—

(i) assemble and review information relating to the needs of veterans in readjusting to civilian life;

(ii) provide information relating to the nature and character of psychological problems arising from service in the Armed Forces;

(iii) provide an on-going assessment of the effectiveness of the policies, organizational structures, and services of the Department in assisting veterans in readjusting to civilian life; and

(iv) provide on-going advice on the most appropriate means of responding to the readjustment needs of veterans in the future.


(B) In carrying out its duties under subparagraph (A), the Committee shall take into special account the needs of veterans who have served in a theater of combat operations.

(c)(1) Not later than March 31 of each year, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that relate to the readjustment of veterans to civilian life. Each such report shall include—

(A) an assessment of the needs of veterans with respect to readjustment to civilian life;

(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and

(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.


(2) Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a copy of the report, together with any comments and recommendations concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.

(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.

(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to that section.

(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall apply to the activities of the Committee under this section.

(2) Section 14 of such Act shall not apply to the Committee.

(Added Pub. L. 104–262, title III, §333(a)(1), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3199; amended Pub. L. 107–14, §8(a)(16), June 5, 2001, 115 Stat. 35.)

References in Text

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (d), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, as amended, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Prior Provisions

Prior section 545 of this title, Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1139, authorized the payment of a pension to children of World War II or Korean conflict veterans and prescribed income limitations, prior to the general amendment of subchapter III of chapter 15 of this title by Pub. L. 86–211, §4, Aug. 29, 1959, 73 Stat. 434. See section 1543 of this title.

Amendments

2001—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–14 substituted "hereinafter" for "hereafter".

Commission on Servicemembers and Veterans Transition Assistance

Pub. L. 104–275, title VII, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3346, as amended by Pub. L. 105–368, title X, §1005(c)(2), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3366, provided that:

"SEC. 701. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

"(a) Establishment.—There is established a commission to be known as the Commission on Servicemembers and Veterans Transition Assistance (hereafter in this title referred to as the 'Commission').

"(b) Membership.—(1) The Commission shall be composed of 12 members appointed from among private United States citizens with appropriate and diverse experiences, expertise, and historical perspectives on veterans, military, organizational, and management matters. The members shall be appointed as follows:

"(A) Four shall be appointed jointly by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives.

"(B) Four shall be appointed jointly by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate.

"(C) Two shall be appointed jointly by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives [now Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives].

"(D) Two shall be appointed jointly by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

"(2)(A) One member of the Commission appointed under each of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) shall be a representative of a veterans service organization.

"(B) To the maximum extent practicable, the individuals appointed under paragraph (1) as members of the Commission shall be veterans.

"(C) Not more than seven of the members of the Commission may be members of the same political party.

"(3) In addition to the members appointed under paragraph (1), the following shall be nonvoting members of the Commission:

"(A) The Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"(B) The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management and Personnel.

"(C) The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training.

"(4) The appointments of members of the Commission shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be made after consultation with representatives of veterans service organizations.

"(5) The appointments of the members of the Commission shall be made not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 9, 1996].

"(c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.—Members shall be appointed for the life of the Commission. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

"(d) Initial Meeting.—Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed under subsection (b)(1), the Commission shall hold its first meeting.

"(e) Quorum.—A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.

"(f) Chairman and Vice Chairman.—The Commission shall select a chairman and vice chairman from among its members.

"(g) Meetings.—The Commission shall meet at the call of the chairman of the Commission.

"(h) Panels.—The Commission may establish panels composed of less than the full membership of the Commission for the purpose of carrying out the Commission's duties. The actions of such panels shall be subject to the review and control of the Commission. Any findings and determinations made by such a panel shall not be considered the findings and determinations of the Commission unless approved by the Commission.

"(i) Authority of Individuals To Act for Commission.—Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take under this title.

"SEC. 702. DUTIES OF COMMISSION.

"(a) In General.—The Commission shall—

"(1) review the adequacy and effectiveness of veterans transition assistance and benefits programs in providing assistance to members of the Armed Forces in making the transition and adjustment to civilian life;

"(2) review the allocation under law of responsibility for the administration of veterans transition assistance and benefits programs among the various departments and agencies of the Government and determine the feasibility and desirability of consolidating such administration;

"(3) evaluate proposals for improving such programs, including proposals for alternative means of providing services delivered by such programs; and

"(4) make recommendations to Congress regarding the need for improvements in such programs.

"(b) Review of Programs To Assist Members of the Armed Forces at Separation.—(1) While carrying out the general duties specified in subsection (a), the members of the Commission appointed under subparagraphs (C) and (D) of section 701(b)(1) and the member specified in subparagraph (B) of section 701(b)(3) shall review primarily the programs intended to assist members of the Armed Forces at the time of their separation from service in the Armed Forces, including programs designed to assist families of such members.

"(2) In carrying out the review, those members of the Commission shall determine the following:

"(A) The adequacy of the programs referred to in paragraph (1) for their purposes.

"(B) The adequacy of the support of the Armed Forces for such programs.

"(C) The adequacy of funding levels for such programs.

"(D) The effect, if any, of the existence of such programs on military readiness.

"(E) The extent to which such programs provide members of the Armed Forces with job-search skills.

"(F) The extent to which such programs prepare such members for employment in the private sector and in the public sector.

"(G) The effectiveness of such programs in assisting such members in finding employment in the public sector upon their separation from service.

"(H) The ways in which such programs could be improved.

"(3) In carrying out the review, the Commission shall make use of previous studies which have been made of such programs.

"(c) Review of Programs To Assist Veterans.—(1) While carrying out the general duties specified in subsection (a), the members of the Commission appointed under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 701(b)(1) and the members specified in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 701(b)(3) shall review the following programs:

"(A) Educational assistance programs.

"(B) Job counseling, job training, and job placement services programs.

"(C) Rehabilitation and training programs.

"(D) Housing loan programs.

"(E) Small business loan and small business assistance programs.

"(F) Employment and employment training programs for employment in the public sector and the private sector, including employer training programs and union apprenticeship programs.

"(G) Government personnel policies (including veterans' preference policies) and the enforcement of such policies.

"(H) Programs that prepare the families of members of the Armed Forces for their transition from military life to civilian life and facilitate that transition.

"(2) In carrying out the review, such members of the Commission shall determine the following:

"(A) The adequacy of the programs referred to in paragraph (1) for their purposes.

"(B) The adequacy of the support of the Department of Veterans Affairs for such programs.

"(C) The adequacy of funding levels for such programs.

"(D) The extent to which such programs provide veterans with job-search skills.

"(E) The extent to which such programs prepare veterans for employment in the private sector and in the public sector.

"(F) The effectiveness of such programs in assisting veterans in finding employment in the public sector upon their separation from service.

"(G) The ways in which such programs could be improved.

"(d) Reports.—(1) Not later than 90 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed under section 701(b)(1), the Commission shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs and Armed Services of the Senate and the Committees on Veterans' Affairs and National Security of the House of Representatives [now Committees on Veterans' Affairs and Armed Services of the House of Representatives] a report setting forth a plan for the work of the Commission. The Commission shall develop the plan in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Labor, and the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies of the Government.

"(2)(A) Not later than 18 months after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the committees referred to in paragraph (1), and to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Labor, a report setting forth the activities, findings, and recommendations of the Commission, including any recommendations for legislative action and administrative action as the Commission considers appropriate.

"(B) Not later than 90 days after receiving the report referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Labor shall jointly transmit the report to Congress, together with the Secretaries' comments on the report.

"SEC. 703. POWERS OF COMMISSION.

"(a) Hearings.—The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out the purposes of this title.

"(b) Information From Federal Agencies.—The Commission may secure directly from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and any other department or agency of the Government such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out its duties under this title. Upon request of the chairman of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information expeditiously to the Commission.

"SEC. 704. MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.

"(a) Postal Services.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Government.

"(b) Gifts.—The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property.

"(c) Miscellaneous Administrative Support.—The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Labor shall, upon the request of the chairman of the Commission, furnish the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, any administrative and support services as the Commission may require.

"SEC. 705. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

"(a) Compensation of Members.—Each member of the Commission may be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in performing the duties of the Commission.

"(b) Travel and Travel Expenses.—(1) Members and personnel of the Commission may travel on military aircraft, military vehicles, or other military conveyances when travel is necessary in the performance of a duty of the Commission except when the cost of commercial transportation is less expensive.

"(2) The members of the Commission may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.

"(c) Staff.—(1) The chairman of the Commission may, without regard to civil service laws and regulations, appoint and terminate an executive director and up to five additional staff members as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its duties. In appointing an individual as executive director, the chairman shall, to the maximum extent practicable, attempt to appoint an individual who is a veteran. The employment of an executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.

"(2) The chairman of the Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other staff members may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.

"(d) Detail of Government Employees.—Upon request of the chairman of the Commission, the head of any department or agency of the Government may detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any personnel of the department or agency to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties.

"(e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services.—The chairman of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of such title.

"SEC. 706. TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.

"The Commission shall terminate 90 days after the date on which it submits its report under section 702(d)(2).

"SEC. 707. DEFINITIONS.

"For the purposes of this title:

"(1) The term 'veterans transition assistance and benefits program' means any program of the Government the purpose of which is—

"(A) to assist, by rehabilitation or other means, members of the Armed Forces in readjusting or otherwise making the transition to civilian life upon their separation from service in the Armed Forces; or

"(B) to assist veterans in making the transition to civilian life.

"(2) The term 'Armed Forces' has the meaning given such term in section 101(10) of title 38, United States Code.

"(3) The term 'veteran' has the meaning given such term in section 101(2) of title 38, United States Code.

"(4) The term 'veterans service organization' means any organization covered by section 5902(a) of title 38, United States Code.

"SEC. 708. FUNDING.

"(a) In General.—The Secretary of Defense shall, upon the request of the chairman of the Commission, make available to the Commission such amounts as the Commission may require to carry out its duties under this title. The Secretary shall make such amounts available from amounts appropriated for the Department of Defense, except that such amounts may not be from amounts appropriated for the transition assistance program (TAP), the Army career alumni program (ACAP), or any similar program.

"(b) Availability.—Any sums made available to the Commission under subsection (a) shall remain available, without fiscal year limitation, until the termination of the Commission."

Original Members of Advisory Committee

Pub. L. 104–262, title III, §333(b), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3200, provided that:

"(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a)(2) of section 545 of title 38, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), the members of the Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Vietnam and Other War Veterans on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 9, 1996] shall be the original members of the advisory committee recognized under such section.

"(2) The original members shall so serve until the Secretary of Veterans Affairs carries out appointments under such subsection (a)(2). The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out such appointments as soon after such date as is practicable. The Secretary may make such appointments from among such original members."

§546. Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation

(a) Establishment.—(1) There is in the Department the Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation (in this section referred to as the "Committee").

(2) The Committee shall consist of not more than 18 members appointed by the Secretary from among individuals who—

(A) have experience with the provision of disability compensation by the Department; or

(B) are leading medical or scientific experts in relevant fields.


(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall determine the terms of service and pay and allowances of the members of the Committee.

(B) A term of service may not exceed four years and shall be staggered to ensure that the dates for the termination of the members' terms are not all the same.

(C) The Secretary may reappoint any member for one or more additional terms of service.

(4) The Secretary shall select a Chair from among the members of the Committee.

(b) Responsibilities of Committee.—(1) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the maintenance and periodic readjustment of the schedule for rating disabilities under section 1155 of this title.

(2)(A) In providing advice to the Secretary under this subsection, the Committee shall—

(i) assemble and review relevant information relating to the needs of veterans with disabilities;

(ii) provide information relating to the nature and character of disabilities arising from service in the Armed Forces;

(iii) provide an on-going assessment of the effectiveness of the schedule for rating disabilities; and

(iv) provide on-going advice on the most appropriate means of responding to the needs of veterans relating to disability compensation in the future.


(B) In carrying out its duties under subparagraph (A), the Committee shall take into special account the needs of veterans who have served in a theater of combat operations.

(c) Resources.—The Secretary shall ensure that appropriate personnel, funding, and other resources are provided to the Committee to carry out its responsibilities.

(d) Biennial Reports to the Secretary.—(1) Not later than October 31, 2010, and not less frequently than every two years thereafter, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that relate to the payment of disability compensation. Each such report shall include—

(A) an assessment of the needs of veterans with respect to disability compensation; and

(B) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative or legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.


(2) The Committee may submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.

(e) Biennial Reports to Congress.—(1) Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report required under subsection (d)(1), the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a copy of such report, together with such comments and recommendations concerning such report as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(2) The Secretary shall submit with each report required under paragraph (1) a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary under subsection (d)(2) since the previous report transmitted by the Secretary under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(f) Applicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall apply to the activities of the Committee under this section.

(2) Section 14 of such Act shall not apply to the Committee.

(Added Pub. L. 110–389, title II, §214(a), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4152.)

References in Text

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (f), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Prior Provisions

Prior sections 560 to 562 were renumbered sections 1560 to 1562 of this title, respectively.

Prior sections 601 to 603 and 610 to 613 were renumbered sections 1701 to 1703 and 1710 to 1713 of this title, respectively.

Another prior section 613, Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1143, related to fitting and training in use of prosthetic appliances, prior to repeal by section 103(b) of Pub. L. 93–82. See section 1714(a) of this title.

Prior sections 614 to 620C were renumbered sections 1714 to 1720C of this title, respectively.

Another prior section 620C, added Pub. L. 100–6, §2(a), Feb. 12, 1987, 101 Stat. 92, related to community-based psychiatric residential treatment for chronically mentally ill veterans, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 100–322, title I, §115(g)(1), May 20, 1988, 102 Stat. 502. See section 115(a)–(f) of Pub. L. 100–322, set out as a note under section 1712 of this title.

Prior sections 621 to 624 were renumbered sections 1721 to 1724 of this title, respectively.

Prior section 625, Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1144; Pub. L. 91–24, §6(a), June 11, 1969, 83 Stat. 34, related to arrests for crimes in hospital and domiciliary reservations, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 93–43, §§4(b), 10(a), June 18, 1973, 87 Stat. 79, 88, effective June 18, 1973.

Prior sections 626 to 631 were renumbered sections 1726 to 1731 of this title, respectively.

Another prior section 631, Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1145; Pub. L. 91–24, §6(b), June 11, 1969, 83 Stat. 34, related to grants to the Republic of the Philippines, prior to repeal by section 107(a) of Pub. L. 93–82.

Prior section 632 was renumbered section 1732 of this title.

Another prior section 632, Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 88–40, June 13, 1963, 77 Stat. 66; Pub. L. 89–612, §2, Sept. 30, 1966, 80 Stat. 859; Pub. L. 91–24, §6(c), June 11, 1969, 83 Stat. 34, related to modification of agreement with the Republic of the Philippines effectuating the Act of July 1, 1948, prior to repeal by section 107(a) of Pub. L. 93–82.

Prior sections 633 to 635 and 641 to 643 were renumbered sections 1733 to 1735 and 1741 to 1743 of this title, respectively.

Prior section 644, added Pub. L. 91–178, §2(a), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 836; amended Pub. L. 93–82, title IV, §403(b), Aug. 2, 1973, 87 Stat. 196, authorized appropriations to be used for making grants to States which had submitted and had approved applications for assistance in remodeling, modification, or alteration of existing hospital or domiciliary facilities in State homes providing care and treatment for veterans, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 95–62, §§2, 5, July 5, 1977, 91 Stat. 262, 263, effective Oct. 1, 1977, but with provision for the continuing force and effect of the terms and conditions of grants made prior to Oct. 1, 1977, under prior section 644 and with additional provision for the modification of the terms and conditions of both grants made under that section prior to Oct. 1, 1977, and of grants made under subchapter III of chapter 81 of this title prior to Oct. 1, 1977.

Prior sections 651 to 654 and 661 to 664 were renumbered sections 1751 to 1754 and 1761 to 1764 of this title, respectively.