Section I:  Purpose:

Pursuant to Section 9 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Pub. L. 92-463, as amended, the Commissioner of Social Security (“Commissioner”) has established the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel (“the Panel”) within the Social Security Administration. The Panel Charter provides a very specific list of duties for the Panel. The following statement provides a summary of the purpose of the Panel:

The Panel will provide independent advice and recommendations on plans and activities to replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles used in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability adjudication process.  The Panel shall advise the agency on creating an occupational information system (OIS) tailored specifically for SSA’s disability programs and adjudicative needs.  SSA requires advice and recommendations relating to the use of occupational information in SSA’s disability programs and the research design of the OIS, including the development and testing of an OIS content model and taxonomy, work analysis instrumentation, sampling, and data collection and analysis.

Section II:  Authority

Section 9(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Pub. L. 92-463, as amended, authorizes agency heads to establish advisory committees when the agency head has determined, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, and with timely notice published in the Federal Register, that creation of the Panel is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on that agency by law.  The Panel is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U. S. Code, Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees, and the General Services Administration regulations on FACA at 41 C.F.R. 102-3.5 et seq.

The Panel is also subject to its charter, initially filed with the Congress on January 8, 2009.  The current charter is in effect through January 6, 2012.

Section III:  Membership Selection and Appointment

The Commissioner of Social Security will appoint members to the Panel.  Membership includes professionals from academia, private-sector, and public entities (including various Federal agencies, e.g., Department of Labor) with expertise in one or more of the following subject areas:  a) occupational analysis, design and development of occupational classifications, instrument design, labor market economics, sampling, data collection and analyses; b) disability evaluation, vocational rehabilitation, forensic vocational assessment, and physical or occupational therapy;  c) occupational or physical rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry, or psychology; and d) disability claimant advocacy.  SSA will publish notification of vacancies in the Federal Register.

Section IV:  Roles and Responsibilities

A.  Panel Chair:

  1. In consultation with the Director, Office of Vocational Resources and Development (Office Director) and Designated Federal Officer (DFO), establishes subcommittees, appoints subcommittee Chairs, appoints substitute Panel Chair and subcommittee Chairs, workgroups, and assigns special projects, as needed.
  2. Chairs the Executive Subcommittee, if such a subcommittee is formed.
  3. Presides and conducts all meetings in accordance with these operating procedures; takes action as necessary for the effective functioning of the Panel.
  4. In consultation with the Office Director and DFO, sets agendas for meetings and decides whether to allow oral comments from members of the public.
  5. Consults with Panel members, Office Director, and the DFO.
  6. Ensures alignment of Panel activities with the project goals.
  7. Communicates with outside public and private entities on behalf of the Panel.
  8. As appropriate, authorizes Panel member(s) or the DFO to represent the Panel at public events or communicate on behalf of the Panel to a group or organization.
  9. Signs correspondence on behalf of the Panel.

B.  Panel Members:

  1. Appointed by the Commissioner of Social Security and shall abide by all applicable Federal laws and regulations including the provisions of the Act, FACA, the Panel Charter, these operating procedures, and the applicable personnel rules, including the provisions of the Federal Standards of Conduct and the Code of Ethics for special government employees.
  2. Serve on subcommittees; attend and participate in Panel meetings; propose agenda items; make motions; and, vote. May serve as a subcommittee Chair.
  3. Consult with other Panel members, Office Director, and the DFO as well as assigned staff.
  4. Read, review, and study information presented to the Panel to inform deliberations and develop action items; review draft recommendations; and, complete agreed-upon tasks including action items and special projects.
  5. Communicate as individuals. May communicate for the Panel at the direction of the Panel Chair.
  6. Ensure that stakeholder views and concerns are considered.

C.  Subcommittee Chairs (as needed):

In addition to their responsibilities as Panel members, subcommittee Chairs:

  1. Report to the full Panel at meeting on the status of subcommittee activity.
  2. Deliver subcommittee recommendations to the full Panel for deliberation and vote.
  3. Develop subcommittee action plans in accordance with the Panel’s goals, and accomplish action items associated with those goals.
  4. Make a request for staff and other support to the DFO.
  5. May designate a temporary substitute subcommittee Chair for an occasional absence.
  6. At the direction of the Chair of the Panel and with the approval of the DFO, participate in conferences or events that relate to the goals and objectives of the subcommittee, as a representative of the Panel.

D.  Subcommittee Members (as needed):

In addition to their responsibilities as Panel members, subcommittee members:

  1. Participate in the development of subcommittee action plans, and in the accomplishment of those plans.
  2. At the direction of the Chair of the Panel and with the approval of the DFO, participate in conferences or events that relate to the goals and objectives of the subcommittee, as a representative of the Panel.
  3. May report at Panel meetings at the direction of the subcommittee chair.
  4. Review documents and information as required to develop recommendations to the full Panel.

E.  Designated Federal Officer:

  1. Appointed by the SSA as the FACA Officer to ensure FACA requirements are met.
  2. Oversees meetings in a manner that supports FACA compliance.
  3. In the absence of the Chair, calls Panel meetings, as necessary.
  4. Oversees Panel operations for FACA compliance.
  5. Plans agendas to support the accomplishment of Panel goals.
  6. Reports at Panel meetings (as necessary).
  7. Ensures compliance with FACA, Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR), SSA grants and contracting practices, personnel, and other rules.
  8. Responds to SSA requirements.
  9. Liaison between the Panel and SSA for issues requiring information, documentation, and response.
  10. Ensure all meetings notices are published in the Federal Register according to FACA timeline requirements.
  11. Signs correspondence at the request of the Panel Chair.
  12. Ensures Panel documentation is posted to the website.
  13. Makes recommendations for budget and staffing levels required in support of the Panel.
  14. Develops and manages Panel budgets.
  15. Participates in the development of Panel reports and working documents, coordinating their review as needed among Panel members and within the agency.
  16. Conducts presentations to external stakeholder organizations regarding Panel activities as authorized by the agency.

F.  Panel Support:

  1. Conduct research and analysis, develop reports, oversee contracts, and support Panel members.
  2. Supports Panel activities by staffing subcommittees (as necessary).
  3. Tracks Panel action items and develops feedback and follow-up required (as necessary).
  4. Maintain official records of Panel subcommittee actions and correspondence.

Section V:  Meeting Procedures

The Panel will meet at regularly scheduled meetings as indicated by the Panel’s Charter, that is, quarterly or at a minimum four times a year. The Chair will call special meetings for a majority of Panel members in consultation with the DFO.

The Panel will hold all meeting in accordance with the following considerations:

A.  Quorum:  A majority of the members of the Panel shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business at any meeting.

B.  Agenda:  The DFO will manage all Panel meeting agendas on behalf of the Panel, with consultation from the Office Director and Chair. The DFO will ensure that items included in the agenda for Panel meetings meet criteria that will support the achievement of Panel goals.  Panel members may recommend agenda items by proposing issues during deliberation.

Non-members may suggest issues for Panel meeting agenda by participating in the public comment process—in person or by telephone at public meetings or in writing.  Commenters must include detailed information on how the specific topic relates to the mission of the Panel.

C.  Public Comment:  Members of the public may provide comment on issues that relate to the development of the OIS.  Commenters may submit written testimony, no longer than five (5) pages in length, by mail to the Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel, 6401 Security Boulevard, Ball Federal Building 3-E-25, Baltimore, MD, 21235 or by fax to (410) 597-4825; or by email to

SSA will publish opportunities for public comment during Panel meetings in the Federal Register, including the length and time allotted for such comment.  The DFO will post agenda to the Panel’s website prior to each meeting.

D.  Minutes and Records:  The DFO will ensure the preparation of Panel meeting minutes.  After review and approval by the Panel, the DFO will post meeting minutes on the Panel’s web site.  The minutes will include the date of the meeting, a record of the persons present (including the names of Panel members, staff, members of the public who provide written or oral presentations, and persons who provide briefings, reports or other requested information), presentation topics, action items, consensus decisions, and motions approved by the Panel.  SSA shall maintain an official transcript of each Panel meeting.  

E.  Open Meetings:  Unless otherwise determined in advance, the Panel will hold all meetings open to the public.  The staff will attempt to provide any materials distributed at Panel meetings in alternative formats (e.g., large print and CDs) and upon request, teleconference meetings may be made accessible to individuals who are hearing impaired by use of the Federal Government Relay Services.  Individuals who are hearing impaired should make a request for access to teleconference meetings at least one week in advance of the start date.

F.  Closed Meetings:  The Panel will hold closed meetings only in limited circumstances.  The DFO will determine in advance whether discussions will involve matters where public disclosure would be harmful to the interests of the Government, industry, or others.  SSA will publish advance notice of the closure--of all or a part of--scheduled meeting in the Federal Register, citing the applicable exemptions of Government in the Sunshine Act.  The DFO will order discussions to cease and will schedule a closed session if, during the course of an open meeting, matters inappropriate for public disclosure arise.  

G.  Electronic Meetings: The Panel and its subcommittees may hold meetings by teleconference or through other electronic communications media as long as the members may simultaneously hear each other and participate during the meeting.

H. Absence of the Chair:  The Panel Chair shall make advance designation of a member of the Panel to serve as substitute Chair as needed.  When absent, the Panel Chair may provide a written indication of his or her vote on specific matters to the designated substitute Chair.  If for some reason, the Panel Chair is unable to designate a member to serve in this capacity, the Panel shall so appoint by majority vote.

Section VI:  Voting

A.  Voting Procedures:  Any member, including the Chair, may make a motion for a vote. A motion for a vote requires a second to bring the issue to a vote.  The Panel will conduct voting by calling the roll and allowing each present Panel Member to state yea, nay, or abstention.  At the discretion of the Chair, the Panel may dispense with a roll call vote.  Each member shall have one vote.  If a member is unable to attend in person, they may participate in meetings and vote via teleconference.  The Panel may adopt any action after recording the votes of a majority of the membership present and voting in favor.  The DFO will ensure that meeting minutes reflect the number of members voting for, against, or abstaining from a vote.

B.  Absentee Voting: A member of the Panel who is absent from a meeting may give consent to, or register dissent against, any action adopted by the Panel, by providing notice to the Chair of the Panel within five days after the missed meeting. The DFO will note these issues for the record and such notification will not change the outcome of the vote.

Section VII: Subcommittees

The Panel may have standing subcommittees as the Panel members deem appropriate and necessary, subject to review and concurrence by the DFO.  

Section VIII:  Representing the Panel

As a general rule, the Chair will communicate on behalf of the Panel.  Individual Panel members and staff may not communicate on behalf of the Panel to outside public or private entities, White House officials, Congressional offices, or Congressional staff without the direction of the Panel Chair. Full-time government staff assigned to support the Panel may not communicate on behalf of the Panel without the direction of the Panel Chair or the concurrence by the Office Director and the DFO.

This section does not preclude Panel members from communicating with entities or individuals at public forums. Members must clarify when they are presenting their personal views on issues and not formally representing the view of the Panel as a whole.

Section IX:  Panel Decisions

The Panel must make all official decisions in open, public meetings in accordance with FACA regulations, except as determined otherwise in accordance with 5 U.S. Code, appendix 2, and other applicable law.

The Panel Chair, in consultation with the Office Director and the DFO, shall decide if the Panel needs to make a decision, e.g., operational issues routinely require decisions that may or may not require a new Panel decision.  

A.  No Panel Decision Needed: If no Panel decision is needed, the DFO shall handle the item. The Panel Chair, Office Director, and DFO may decide to report on the item or action at an upcoming Panel meeting (if the item is determined to be significant).

B.  Panel Decision Needed: If a Panel decision is needed the Panel Chair, Office Director, and DFO will review the item and decide whether additional deliberation is needed.  If yes, the DFO will place the item on the Panel meeting agenda and oversee investigation and the development of a recommendation.  The DFO will report on the suggested recommendation and the Panel will vote in an open meeting in compliance with FACA requirements.  The DFO will execute any closeout action required.

Section X:  Reporting Requirements

SSA will set Panel reporting requirements per the Panel’s charter.

Section XI:  Amendments to Operating Procedures

Any member of the Panel may recommend an amendment to these operating procedures.  After approval by the Panel Chair and DFO in consultation with the Office Director, the DFO will distribute a copy of the operating procedures with proposed amendments to the Panel for deliberation and approval at the next public meeting.