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Advisory Committee for Women’s Services Charter

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Committee’s Official Designation

Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (ACWS)


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (ACWS) is required by 42 U.S.C. 290aa, section 501(f)(2)(C) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The ACWS is governed by the provision of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C., App.

Objectives and Scope of Activities

To advise the Associate Administrator for Women’s Services (AAWS) on appropriate activities to be undertaken by the agencies of the Administration with respect to women’s substance abuse and mental health services, including services which require a multidisciplinary approach. These may include discussion on the development of policies and programs regarding women’s issues; plans to standardize and enhance the collection of data on women’s health, and other emerging issues concerning women’s substance abuse and mental health services.

Description of Duties

The ACWS will collect and review data, including information provided by the Secretary, and report biannually to the Assistant Secretary regarding the extent to which women are represented among senior personnel, and make recommendations regarding improvement in the participation of women in the workforce of the SAMHSA; and prepare, for inclusion in the biennial report, a description of activities of the Committee, including findings regarding:

  1. the extent of expenditures made for women's substance abuse and mental health services by the agencies of SAMHSA; and
  2. the estimated level of funding needed for substance abuse and mental health services to meet the needs of women.

Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports

The ACWS shall advise and make recommendations to the AAWS, concerning activities carried out by the Agency with respect to women’s substance abuse and mental health services.


Management and support services shall be provided by the SAMHSA Office of Intergovernmental and Public Affairs (OIPA).

Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years

The estimated annual operating costs for the ACWS, to include travel, meetings, federal staff support, and contracting support, is approximately $202,068.00 and 0.75 fulltime equivalents.

Designated Federal Official

The SAMHSA Assistant Secretary shall designate an Agency staff member to serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) of the ACWS. The DFO will approve or call all ACWS meetings and subcommittee meetings, prepare and approve meeting agendas, attend all ACWS meetings and subcommittee 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 official to whom the committee reports.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

The ACWS shall meet no less than two times during each fiscal year. The location of the meetings of the committee shall be subject to the approval of the AAWS.

ACWS meetings shall be open to the public, except as determined otherwise by the HHS Secretary (or the designee), in accordance with the Government in Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Notice of all meetings shall be given to the public. In the event a portion of a meeting is closed to the public, a report will be prepared which shall contain, at a minimum, a list of members and their business addresses, the ACWS’s functions, dates and places of meetings, and a summary of committee activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year.




Unless renewed by appropriate action prior to its expiration, the charter for the ACWS will expire two years from the date the charter is filed.

Membership and Designation

The ACWS shall consist of not more than 10 members to be appointed by the SAMHSA Assistant Secretary, a majority of whom shall be women, who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government. Members shall be from among physicians, practitioners, treatment providers, and other health professionals, whose clinical practice, specialization, or professional expertise includes a significant focus on women's substance use and mental health conditions. All members shall serve as Special Government Employees.

A quorum for the conduct of business by the full Committee will consist of a majority (one more than one half) of currently appointed voting members.

The term of office of a member of the ACWS shall be up to four years. If a vacancy occurs in the advisory committee among the members, the Assistant Secretary shall make the appointment to fill such vacancy within 90 days from the date the vacancy occurs. Initial appointments shall be made in such a manner as to ensure that the terms of the members do not all expire in the same year. A member who has been appointed for a term of four years may not be reappointed to an advisory committee before two years from the date of expiration of such term of office.


Subcommittees may be established with the approval of the Assistant Secretary or the AAWS. The advice/recommendations of a subcommittee must be deliberated by the parent committee. A subcommittee may not provide advice or work products directly to the agency. The Department Committee Management Officer will be notified upon the establishment of each subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


Meetings of the ACWS and its subcommittees will be conducted according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, other applicable laws and Departmental policies. The ACWS and subcommittee records will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 6.2, Federal Advisory Committee Records or other approved agency records disposition schedule. These records will be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

Filing Date

June 15, 2022


Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

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