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Section 644

SEC. 644. FEDERAL INTERAGENCY COORDINATING COUNCIL.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish a Federal Interagency Coordinating Council in order to --

(A) minimize duplication of programs and activities across Federal, State, and local agencies, relating to --

(i) early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities (including at-risk infants and toddlers) and their families; and

(ii) preschool or other appropriate services for children with disabilities;

(B) ensure the effective coordination of Federal early intervention and preschool programs and policies across Federal agencies;

(C) coordinate the provision of Federal technical assistance and support activities to States;

(D) identify gaps in Federal agency programs and services; and

(E) identify barriers to Federal interagency cooperation.

(2) APPOINTMENTS- The council established under paragraph (1) (hereafter in this section referred to as the Council) and the chairperson of the Council shall be appointed by the Secretary in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies. In making the appointments, the Secretary shall ensure that each member has sufficient authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf of the department, agency, or program that the member represents.

(b) COMPOSITION- The Council shall be composed of --

(1) a representative of the Office of Special Education Programs;

(2) a representative of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and a representative of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement;

(3) a representative of the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program;

(4) a representative of programs administered under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act;

(5) a representative of the Health Care Financing Administration;

(6) a representative of the Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control;

(7) a representative of the Social Security Administration;

(8) a representative of the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children of the Department of Agriculture;

(9) a representative of the National Institute of Mental Health;

(10) a representative of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development;

(11) a representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior;

(12) a representative of the Indian Health Service;

(13) a representative of the Surgeon General;

(14) a representative of the Department of Defense;

(15) a representative of the Children's Bureau, and a representative of the Head Start Bureau, of the Administration for Children and Families;

(16) a representative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration;

(17) a representative of the Pediatric AIDS Health Care Demonstration Program in the Public Health Service;

(18) parents of children with disabilities age 12 or under (who shall constitute at least 20 percent of the members of the Council), of whom at least one must have a child with a disability under the age of 6;

(19) at least two representatives of State lead agencies for early intervention services to infants and toddlers, one of whom must be a representative of a State educational agency and the other a representative of a non-educational agency;

(20) other members representing appropriate agencies involved in the provision of, or payment for, early intervention services and special education and related services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and preschool children with disabilities; and

(21) other persons appointed by the Secretary.

(c) MEETINGS- The Council shall meet at least quarterly and in such places as the Council deems necessary. The meetings shall be publicly announced, and, to the extent appropriate, open and accessible to the general public.

(d) FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL- The Council shall --

(1) advise and assist the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Commissioner of Social Security in the performance of their responsibilities related to serving children from birth through age 5 who are eligible for services under this part or under part B;

(2) conduct policy analyses of Federal programs related to the provision of early intervention services and special educational and related services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, and preschool children with disabilities, in order to determine areas of conflict, overlap, duplication, or inappropriate omission;

(3) identify strategies to address issues described in paragraph (2);

(4) develop and recommend joint policy memoranda concerning effective interagency collaboration, including modifications to regulations, and the elimination of barriers to interagency programs and activities;

(5) coordinate technical assistance and disseminate information on best practices, effective program coordination strategies, and recommendations for improved early intervention programming for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families and preschool children with disabilities; and

(6) facilitate activities in support of States' interagency coordination efforts.

(e) CONFLICT OF INTEREST- No member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to that member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under Federal law.

(f) FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the establishment or operation of the Council.




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This page last modified on 6-25-2002 (jca)