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Executive Order 12961—Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses

May 26, 1995

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment. (a) There is hereby established the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (the "Committee"). The Committee shall be composed of not more than 12 members to be appointed by the President. The members of the Committee shall have expertise relevant to the functions of the Committee and shall not be full-time officials or employees of the executive branch of the Federal Government. The Committee shall be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.

(b) The President shall designate a Chairperson from among the members of the Committee.

Sec. 2. Functions. (a) The Committee shall report to the President through the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(b) The Committee shall provide advice and recommendations based on its review of the following matters:

(1) Research: epidemiological, clinical, and other research concerning Gulf War veterans' illnesses.

(2) Coordinating Efforts: the activities of the Persian Gulf Veterans Coordinating Board, including the Research Coordinating Council, the Clinical Working Group, and the Disability and Compensation Working Group.

(3) Medical Treatment: medical examinations and treatment in connection with Gulf War veterans' illnesses, including the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program and the Persian Gulf Registry Medical Examination Program.

(4) Outreach: government-sponsored outreach efforts such as hotlines and newsletters related to Gulf War veterans' illnesses.

(5) External Reviews: the steps taken to implement recommendations in external reviews by the Institute of Medicine's Committee to Review the Health Consequences of Service During the Persian Gulf War, the Defense Science Board Task Force on Persian Gulf War Health Effects, the National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Workshop on the Persian Gulf Experience and Health, the Persian Gulf Expert Scientific Committee, and other bodies.

(6) Risk Factors: the possible risks associated with service in the Persian Gulf Conflict in general and, specifically, with prophylactic drugs and vaccines, infectious diseases, environmental chemicals, radiation and toxic substances, smoke from oil well fires, depleted uranium, physical and psychological stress, and other factors applicable to the Persian Gulf Conflict.

(7) Chemical and Biological Weapons: information related to reports of the possible detection of chemical or biological weapons during the Persian Gulf Conflict.

(c) It shall not be a function of the Committee to conduct scientific research. The Committee shall review information and provide advice and recommendations on the activities undertaken related to the matters described in (b) above.

(d) It shall not be a function of the Committee to provide advice or recommendations on any legal liability of the Federal Government for any claims or potential claims against the Federal Government.

(e) As used herein, "Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses" means the symptoms and illnesses reported by United States uniformed services personnel who served in the Persian Gulf Conflict.

(f) The Committee shall submit an interim report within 6 months of the first meeting of the Committee and a final report by December 31, 1996, unless otherwise provided by the President.

Sec. 3. Administration. (a) The heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide the Committee with such information as it may require for purposes of carrying out its functions. (b) Members of the Committee shall be compensated in accordance with Federal law. Committee members may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, to the extent permitted by law for persons serving intermittently in the Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707).

(c) To the extent permitted by law, and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Department of Defense shall provide the Committee with such funds as may be necessary for the performance of its functions.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Executive order, the functions of the President under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that are applicable to the Committee, except that of reporting annually to the Congress, shall be performed by the Secretary of Defense, in accordance with the guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.

(b) The Committee shall terminate 30 days after submitting its final report.

(c) This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and it is not intended to create any right, benefit or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

William J. Clinton

The White House,

May 26, 1995.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:36 a.m., May 30, 1995]

William J. Clinton, Executive Order 12961—Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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