Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (10/15/2002)

United States Consensus Council Act of 2002 - (Sec. 4) Establishes the United States Consensus Council as an independent nonprofit corporation under the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act.

(Sec. 5) Authorizes the Council to: (1) develop and conduct processes to build consensus on national policy issues; (2) identify particular public policy issues as to which the Council's expertise would be useful in building a consensus; (3) develop and apply criteria for determining whether the Council will enter into a consensus-building process on a particular issue; and (4) coordinate with, make referrals to, and receive referrals from other U.S. consensus building instrumentalities, including the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Prohibits the Council from taking any action relating to a matter within the authority of the Institute or the Service without their consent.

Allows the Council, for each consensus building process, to: (1) consider congressional interest, issue complexity, cost, ripeness, likelihood of participation by key stakeholders, and other relevant indices in determining whether to enter into a particular consensus process; (2) identify any appropriate facilitator and key stakeholders; (3) publish a common set of facts to inform and assist consensus-building processes; (4) establish ground rules related to confidentiality, representation of counsel, and ex parte communications; (5) work to promote consensus by methods of dispute resolution; (6) build agreements among stakeholders; (7) report the results of consensus-building efforts; and (8) provide issue training and technical assistance.

Directs the Council to develop guidelines on its operating policies and duties, including for the establishment of advisory bodies.

(Sec. 6) Vests the powers of the Council in a Board of Directors. Prohibits any Director from being a Federal officer or employee, including a Member of Congress.

(Sec. 7) Provides for appointment by the Board of a President who shall be the chief executive officer of the Council and subject to the supervision of the Board.

(Sec. 8) Directs the Council to monitor and evaluate programs to ensure compliance with this Act.

Requires annual audits of the Council's accounts and an annual financial report to the President, Congress, and the General Accounting Office on the Council's activities, the audit report, and funds received.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes appropriations.