Appendix A. Charter of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography

Part: 
Six
Chapter: 
2

The Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (the "Commission") will operate pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Pub. L. No. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770 (1972), as amended by the Government in the Sunshine Act, Pub. L. No. 94-409, S 5 (c), 90 Stat. 1241, 1247 (1976) (the "Act"). Pursuant to Section 9(c) of the Act, the following information is provided regarding the Commission.

The objectives of the Commission are to determine the nature, extent, and impact on society of pornography in the United States, and to make specific recommendations to the Attorney General concerning more effective ways in which the spread of pornography could be contained, consistent with constitutional guarantees.

The scope of the Commission includes: a study of the dimensions of the problem of pornography, particularly visual and graphic pornography, including changes over the last several years in the nature of pornography, its volume, the impact of new technology, and pornography that relates to children; an examination of the means of production and distribution of pornographic materials, specifically including the role of organized crime in the pornography business; a review of the available empirical and scientific evidence on the relationship between exposure to pornographic materials and antisocial behavior, and on the impact of the creation and dissemination of both adult and child pornography upon children, including, as appropriate, the commissioning of new research on these subjects; a review of national, State, and local efforts, whether by the government or others, to curb pornography; and the exploration and, where appropriate, the recommendation of possible roles and initiatives that the Department of justice and agencies of local, State, and Federal government could pursue in controlling, consistent with constitutional guarantees, the production and distribution of pornography.

 

The Commission shall terminate one year from the date of the first Commission meeting, which will be sufficient time for the Commission to file the report required by Paragraph 6. The term of the Commission may be extended by the Attorney General upon his determination that the Commission requires additional time to complete its work.

Within one year of its first meeting, the Commission shall report its findings and conclusions to the Attorney General. If the Commission determines that more time is required to provide an opportunity to review additional evidence or complete its work, it shall so report.

The Department of justice shall provide all necessary support services for the Commission.

The duties of the Commission are solely advisory; these duties are to carry out the objectives set forth in Paragraph 2.

Commissioners shall receive no remuneration other than compensation for travel and per diem expenses incurred in connection with the Commission's business.

The Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Legal Policy shall provide the estimated annual cost of $400,000 for the operation of the Commission. Approximately ten work-years of staff support will be required.

The Commission's Charter was filed on March 29, 1985.

  1. Authority and Official Designation
  2. 2. Objectives and Scope of Activity
  3. Organization and Membership
    1. Membership. The Commission shall be composed of not more than eleven members appointed by the Attorney General. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers but may be filled by the Attorney General in his discretion.
    2. Officers. The Attorney General shall designate one of the members of the Commission to be the Chairman. The Chairman may appoint, from among the members of the Commission, such other officers as he deems appropriate. The Attorney General shall appoint an individual to serve as the Executive Director of the Commission.
    3. Designated Government Official. The Attorney General shall designate one officer or employee of the Department of justice to serve as the Designated Government Official required by section 10(e) of the Act.
  4. Operations

     

    All meetings and hearings of the Commission shall be open to the public unless a determination has been made by the Attorney General, in accordance with section 10(d) of the Act, that a meeting or hearing, or a portion thereof, should be closed to the public. Timely notice of each meeting or hearing shall be published in the Federal Register stating the name of the Commission, the time, place, and purpose of the meeting or hearing and the name, address, and telephone number of the Designated Government Official or other Department of justice employee, whom members of the public may contact for further information. Other than in exceptional circumstances, such notice shall be published at least fifteen days in advance of the meeting or hearing day. If shorter notice is given, the reason must be stated in the notice.

    1. Functions of the Chairman. In accordance with the Act, and consistent with its provisions regarding participation of the Designated Government Official, the Chairman shall:

       

      1. call meetings and set hearings;
      2. develop the agenda for meetings and hearings;
      3. preside at meetings and hearings;
      4. provide for the keeping of detailed minutes of meetings and transcripts of hearings of the Commission;
      5. provide for the maintenance and retention of records of the Commission; and
      6. certify the accuracy of the minutes of meetings and transcripts of hearings of the Commission.
    2. Functions of the Designated Government Official. The Designated Government Official shall exercise those duties and responsibilities required by the Act.
    3. Functions of the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall:
      1. serve as contact point for the public to provide current information concerning the operations of the Commission;
      2. under the general direction of the Commission acting through its Chairman, supervise the operations of the staff; and
      3. perform such other duties and responsibilities as the Commission acting through its Chairman may assign.
    4. Meetings and Hearings of the Commission. It is estimated that the Commission will hold approximately seven meetings during its term. In addition, the Commission is empowered to hold hearings and take testimony concerning any of the issues within its scope of activity, and may hold as many hearings as it deems necessary to fulfill the objectives of the Commission. A majority of the appointed and qualified members shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may conduct hearings.
    5. Records of the Commission. The Commission's records shall consist of all papers, documents, and other materials pertinent to its establishment and activities, including its charter, agendas of meetings and hearings, determinations for closed meetings and hearings, minutes, reports, and all documents related to its proceedings and those of its subgroups, including working papers, drafts, studies, or other documents made available to or prepared for or by the Commission or its subgroup. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying to the extent required by the Act. These records shall be maintained by the Commission for the term of its operations, and shall be deposited with the Department of justice upon the termination of the Commission.
    6. Minutes of the Meetings. Detailed minutes shall be kept of each meeting of the Commission, which shall include a record of the persons present, a complete and accurate description of matters discussed, and conclusions reached, and copies of all reports received, issued, or approved by the Commission. The accuracy of such minutes shall be certified by the Chairman.
    7. Public Participation. At any meeting of the Commission that is open to the public, but not at a closed meeting, interested persons shall be permitted to attend and to file written statements with the Commission. At any time prior or subsequent to a closed meeting, interested persons shall be permitted to file written statements with the Commission.

     

  5. Duration
  6. Reporting
  7. Support Services
  8. Duties
  9. Remuneration
  10. Estimated Annual Costs
  11. Date Charter Filed

 

William French Smith
Attorney General