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Executive Order 11776—Continuing the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and Broadening its Membership and Responsibilities

March 28, 1974

The President's Committee on Mental Retardation, established by Executive Order No. 11280 on May 11, 1966, has mobilized national planning and carried out basic programs in the field of mental retardation. National goals have been established to reduce the occurrence of mental retardation by one-half before the end of the century and to return one-third of the people in mental institutions to useful lives in their communities. The achievement of these goals will require the most effective possible use of public and private resources.

Our country has become increasingly aware in recent years of the need to assure those who are retarded their full status as citizens under the law, and of the continuing need to mobilize the support of the general public and of specialized professional and volunteer groups for mental retardation activities. We also know that we must constantly evaluate existing programs to determine their adequacy and must continually consider a broad range of proposals for new mental retardation activities.

Now, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Committee continued and responsibilities expanded. The President's Committee on Mental Retardation (hereinafter referred to as the Committee), with expanded membership and expanded responsibilities, is hereby continued in operation.

SEC. 2. Composition of Committee. The Committee shall be composed of the following members:

(1) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, who shall be the Chairman of the Committee.

(2) The Attorney General.

(3) The Secretary of Labor.

(4) The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(5) The Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

(6) The Director of ACTION.

(7) Not more than twenty-one other members who shall be appointed to the Committee by the President. These persons may be employed in either the public or the private sectors and may include specialists in medicine and other healing arts, human development, special education, law, and employment problems, as well as members of foundations and other private organizations active in the mental retardation field. Except as the President may from time to time otherwise direct, appointees under this paragraph shall have three-year terms, except that an appointment made to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of a term shall be made for the balance of the unexpired term.

SEC. 3. Functions of the Committee. (a) The Committee shall provide such advice and assistance in the area of mental retardation as the President or Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare may request and particularly shall advise with respect to the following areas:

(1) evaluation of the adequacy of the national effort to combat mental retardation;

(2) identification of the potential of various Federal programs for achieving Presidential goals in mental retardation;

(3) provision of adequate liaison between Federal activities and related activities of State and local governments, foundations, and other private organizations; and

(4) development and dissemination of such information as will tend to reduce the incidence of retardation and ameliorate its effects.

(b) The Committee shall make an annual report to the President concerning mental retardation. Such additional reports or recommendations may be made as the President may require or as the Committee may deem appropriate.

SEC. 4. Cooperation by other agencies. To assist the Committee in providing advice to the President, Federal departments and agencies requested to do so by the Committee shall designate liaison officers with the Committee. Such officers shall, on request by the Committee, and to the extent permitted by law, provide it with information on department and agency programs which do contribute to or which could contribute to achievement of the President's goals in the field of mental retardation.

SEC. 5. Administrative arrangements. (a) The office of the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide the Committee with necessary staff, administrative services, and facilities.

(b) Each member of the Committee, except any member who then receives other compensation from the United States, may receive compensation for each day he or she is engaged upon the work of the Committee, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 3109), and may also receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 5703) for persons in the Government service employed intermittently.

(c) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall perform such other functions with respect to the Committee as may be required by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. I; 86 Stat. 770).

SEC. 6. Construction. Nothing in this order shall be construed as subjecting any Federal agency, or any function vested by law in, or assigned pursuant to law to, any Federal agency, to the authority of the Committee or as abrogating or restricting any such function in any manner.

SEC. 7. Executive Order No. 11280 of May 11, 1966, is hereby superseded.


The White House,

March 28, 1974.

NOTE: The President signed the Executive order in a ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House.

Richard Nixon, Executive Order 11776—Continuing the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and Broadening its Membership and Responsibilities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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