Science Advisory Board
Frequently Asked Questions
On May 28, 2009 Acting Commissioner Mauriello signed Administrative Order 2009-05 establishing the Science Advisory Board. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers concerning the work of the SAB and membership.
How is the Science Advisory Board (SAB) constituted?
The SAB will consist of up to twelve members. One of whom will sever as Chairperson. The members and chairperson will be appointed by the Commissioner of DEP from among a pool of applicants who responded to DEP solicitation for members, and who meet the required criteria.
What are the four standing committees?
Ecological Processes, Public Health, Water Quality and Quantity and Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. All four committees report to the Science Advisory Board.
How will membership on the standing committees be constituted?
Each standing committee will have up to twelve members each. The members and committee chairs will be appointed by the Commissioner of DEP from among a pool of applicants who responded to DEP solicitation for members, and who meet the required criteria.
How will the work of the SAB be defined/directed?
The SAB will provide independent peer review and advice to the Commissioner on scientific and technical issues relevant to the Department's mission. The Commissioner, with input from staff will determine the issues the SAB will research. Their work is limited to scientific and technical issues and they will not be addressing issues of a policy or regulatory nature.
How does the SAB report to the Commissioner?
The SAB will deliver its findings and recommendations to the Commissioner through the Division of Science and Research, which will serve as a liaison between the Commissioner, the Departmental staff and the public.
How will ad hoc committees be utilized?
The SAB may request that the Commissioner convene one or more ad hoc committees with appropriate membership to deliberate on a specific issue presented by the Commissioner that is beyond the scope of the standing committees. These ad hoc committees will exist only for the period of time necessary to address their specific issue and report their findings through the SAB to the Commissioner.
Who decides on members of the ad-hoc committees?
The Commissioner will appoint the members of the ad hoc committee along with the chairperson. A separate request for candidates may be sent out in order to obtain an adequate number of potential candidates for consideration.
Will the meetings of the SAB or the Committees be open to the public?
These meetings will not be open to the public. Information on the SAB and the Committees will be posted on the SAB website.
How will the work of the SAB differ from other focus groups?
The SAB will be the ultimate voice to report to the Commissioner via the Division of Science and Research regarding the issues assigned to the SAB. The SAB will direct new issues to the appropriate committee and ensure that work is reported out in a timely fashion. The SAB will avoid overlap with existing advisory groups whenever possible.
How long will members of the SAB and standing committees serve?
Their terms will be three years, however the terms of the initial membership will be balanced with one, two, and three year terms to start a process of regular turnover.
Will SAB or committee members receive compensation or be reimbursed for expenses?
Members of the SAB or any standing, ad hoc, or subcommittee will not be compensated by the Department or the State for their service.
What is the time commitment anticipated?
It is anticipated that meetings will be held between 4-12 times per year. Work on committees may intensify due to the nature of the issue. Members may be asked to prepare information for meetings and review documents prepared by the SAB.
Will the NJDEP consider conflict of interest for potential candidates that may serve on the SAB or one of the Standing Committee?
Yes, "conflict of interest" means any financial or other interest which conflicts with the service of the individual because it could significantly impair the individual's objectivity or could create an unfair competitive advantage for any person or organization. Candidates being considered for appointment will be asked to complete a confidential conflict of interest disclosure form.
If I am currently receiving funding from the NJDEP, can I serve on the SAB or one of the Standing Committees?
The NJDEP will allow candidates that are currently receiving funds to be considered for appointment to the SAB or one of the Standing Committees. Members of the SAB or one of the Standing Committees must recuse themselves from any SAB/Committee activities (e.g., discussions, decisions) if a conflict of interest situation arises during their membership (e.g., when a new charge is presented to the SAB/Committee).
How will the SAB or the DEP determine if there are conflicts of interest?
Candidates being considered for appointment will be asked to complete a confidential conflict of interest disclosure form to be reviewed by the NJDEP. Subsequently, all members of the respective SAB/Committee will be required to respond to questions about the appearance or actual lack of impartiality every time a new activity is initiated or a new charge is issued. Any disputes will be brought before the Conflict Review Committee consisting of the SAB Chair and two NJDEP representatives for resolution. The NJDEP Commissioner will have the final decision on any unresolved disputes.