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Operations and Practices of the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics
As of January 1, 2019, the following agencies are members of the Forum:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Department of Commerce
U.S. Census Bureau
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Community Living
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
National Center for Health Statistics
National Institute on Aging
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment Benefits Security Administration
Department of Veteran Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Office of Management and Budget
Statistical and Science Policy Office
Social Security Administration
Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics
Membership in the Forum is open to government agencies and requires that an agency either produce statistics concerning the well-being of older Americans or have a mission that is highly dependent on using those statistics.
Each Forum member agency shall be represented by a Forum Principal (typically the agency director or a designee) and a named Forum Alternate. To become a member of the Forum an agency should send a request to join the Forum to the Forum Director (a position described below) outlining how the agency meets the criteria outlined above and how the mission of the agency relates to the mission of the Forum. The Forum Director will share the request with Forum membership who will evaluate the request.
Membership in the Forum requires active participation in Forum activities including attendance at meetings, agency staff participation in work groups, timely review of documents and timely response to requests for input on Forum activities. The Forum Director shall contact any Forum agency whose members are not participating in Forum or committee meetings for one year or more to determine level of interest. Any agency without interest and/or resources shall withdraw from the Forum. Agencies can request to rejoin the Forum if their interest in Forum activities changes.
The Forum can establish and alter administrative positions and committee structure. Forum principals shall appoint agency representatives to serve on standing and ad hoc committees, as needed, to support the Forum’s mission and to address any specific goals or objectives. The standing committees of the Forum are:
Executive Committee. An Executive Committee consisting of four Forum members meets as needed to address issues that require decisions before the next scheduled meeting of the Forum. The Executive Committee can resolve administrative issues but can call an interim in-person or phone meeting of the Forum principals when needed. All Forum principals are invited to attend Executive Committee meetings and an agenda will be sent to principals prior to the meeting. Membership on the Executive Committee should rotate among Forum members. Members serve two years with two members rotating off each year.
Planning Committee. Forum principals nominate members of the Planning committee that oversees the operations of the Forum and coordinates the work of the other committees.
To address specific projects, ad hoc committees can be established with the approval of Forum principals.
The Forum shall have a Director to manage the daily workings of the Forum, including oversight of the support and production of Forum reports based on direction from Forum principals. The National Center for Health Statistics provides a part-time FTE position for the Forum Director and staff to administer Forum contributions and expenditures. Forum principals are invited to take part in the selection process when a new Forum Director must be selected. Information on Forum contributions and expenditures will be provided to Forum principals at least once a year. The location of the Forum Director position and the mechanism for administering Forum funding can be modified by agreement of the Forum principals.
The Forum strives to make decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved after extensive discussion, decision will be made by majority vote taken at scheduled Forum meetings or at interim Forum meetings called by the Executive Committee. However, if the vote does not result in a clear majority (such as 75% of voting members) the Forum should attempt to find a workable compromise.
FUNDING AND OTHER SUPPORT
The Forum welcomes many forms of support. The time and expertise of Forum agencies’ staff support the work of the Forum. In particular, the contributions of many staff across many agencies make possible the Forum’s publications and activities.
In addition to contributions of staff time, the production of Forum reports, products, administrative support, and management support requires financial contributions by Forum member agencies. The Forum uses funds for the services of the Forum Director and related contracts. While the Forum does not identify and request specific amounts from Forum member agencies, the nature of Forum activities is a function of available funds.
Forum members shall meet as a full Forum at least twice per year. Fifty-one percent of members must be in attendance for decisions to be made. Meetings will generally be held in the spring and the fall to address the preparation and dissemination of Forum products, publications, and a Work Plan for alternate-year activities and deliverables. An informational meeting to promote internal and external data sharing among Forum member agencies and other Federal partners can also be held.
If discussions cannot be completed or resolved during the regularly scheduled fall and spring meetings, then on-call or Executive Committee meetings can be scheduled.
The Forum currently produces the Older Americans: Key Indicators of Well-Being.