Trump Administration Eliminates Almost Decade-Old Advisory Board on Smart Grid Innovation

Oct 21, 2019


The Smart Grid Advisory Committee, operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is the third advisory board to be abolished as a result of an Executive Order ordered by the Trump administration back in June. The Executive Order directs each Federal agency to terminate at least one-third of its advisory committees by September 30, 2019 and limits the creation of new advisory committees, requiring that the total number of committees should not exceed 350 government-wide.

It has been a long-standing practice for Federal agencies to establish advisory boards as a means of soliciting input from experts outside of the government. The Smart Grid Advisory Committee was established to provide “input to NIST on Smart Grid standards, priorities, and gaps, on the overall direction, status, and health of the Smart Grid implementation by the Smart Grid industry, and on the direction of Smart Grid research and standards activities.” The Smart Grid Advisory Committee is the only advisory board to be abolished at NIST, though two other federal advisory boards have been eliminated so far at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, falling far short of the one-third reduction specified by the Executive Order.

Federal advisory boards are managed by the General Service Administration (GSA) in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database and GSA reports that there are about 1,000 advisory committees government-wide.