SAMHSA's ACWS provides advice to improve treatment, prevention and related services to women with respect to substance use and mental illness, and to promote mental health and protect legal rights of women.
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., which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.
Objectives and Scope of Activities
In accordance with section 501(f) of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 290aa, the SAMHSA Associate Administrator for Women’s Services (AAWS) shall provide leadership and guidance in developing and implementing agency plans to meet women’s substance abuse and mental health services needs; coordinate and promote collaboration among the three SAMHSA Centers, and with other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) components; develop policies and programs regarding women’s issues; develop plans to standardize and enhance the collection of data on women’s health; establish and operate the mandated agency Coordinating Committee for Women’s Services; promote the allocation of sufficient resources for women’s services within each SAMHSA Center; establish and support the mandated ACWS; ensure the establishment, maintenance and operation of a program to provide information on women’s substance abuse and mental health services; assure the conduct of appropriate evaluation of women’s services; and monitor and report on agency recruitment and hiring of women in senior positions.
Description of Duties
ACWS shall advise the AAWS and the Principal Deputy Administrator (PDA) on appropriate activities to be undertaken by the agency’s Centers with respect to women's substance abuse and mental health services, including services which require a multi disciplinary approach; collect and review data, including information provided by the Secretary, and report biannually to the PDA 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 Administration; 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 SAMHSA Centers, 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
ACWS shall advise and make recommendations to the AAWS and the PDA 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 Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation, SAMHSA.
Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years
The estimated annual cost for operating the ACWS, including compensation and travel expenses for members, but excluding staff support, is $96,410. The estimate of annual person-years of staff support required is 0.8, at an estimated annual cost of $96,324.
Designated Federal Official
The PDA 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 Secretary of HHS (or the designee), in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and FACA. 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 PDA and 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 abuse and mental health conditions. All non-federal 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, except a member may serve after the expiration of the member’s term until a successor has been appointed and taken office. 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. Terms of more than two years are contingent upon renewal of the ACWS’s charter by appropriate action prior to its expiration. 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 composed of members of the parent committee may be established with the approval of the PDA 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 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 FACA, 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.
June 15, 2016
Principal Deputy Administrator