Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations

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Welcome to
The U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations'
Home Page

The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) is a permanent, independent, bipartisan intergovernmental agency established by Public Law 86-380 in 1959. As it was established, ACIR's mission is:

To strengthen the American federal system and improve the ability of federal, state, and local governments to work together cooperatively, efficiently, and effectively.

To learn more about ACIR, please click on one of the following subjects,

scroll down this page, or
contact us directly at:
800 K St., NW
Suite 450 South Building
Washington, DC 20575


The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) is a permanent, independent, bipartisan agency that was established under Public Law 86-380 in 1959 to study and consider the federal government's intergovernmental relationships and the nation's intergovernmental machination.

The Commission is composed of 26 individuals who represent the interests of the federal system's intergovernmental partners in matters of intergovernmental concern, and is the only established, freestanding part of the federal system in which the views of the federal government's intergovernmenal partners are openly aired, and in which difficulties and inefficiencies in the federal system's Intergovernmental Relationship's are examined.

Intergovernmental Relations:

The studies of Intergovernmental Management and Intergovernmental Relations are fields in which researchers study how different levels of government interact with one another, and attempt to define how they should interact with one another in the context of The Constitution. Intergovernmental Relationships have profound effects on self-government in America, and determining the appropriate role for federal government within the governmental system is as high on the national agenda today as it was when The Constitution was written in 1787.

As the nation's foremost repository of experience and information on intergovernmental structure, finance, process, and practice, the challenge of studying the federal government's relationships with State, Local, and Tribal governments falls to ACIR.

ACIR works with State, Local, and Tribal governments, as well as other interested parties to:

Currently, ACIR is the hub of the intergovernmental community and maintains relationships with many Intergovernmental organizations.Several related documents and other sources of information are:

ACIR's Commission:

ACIR's Commissioners represent most of the federal government's partners in the intergovernmental arena. There are 26 members on ACIR's Commission. They include:

Commission Members serve two-year terms and may be reappointed.

ACIR's Commission is on the cutting edge of efforts to understand and balance the interests of the federal system's partners, and ACIR's Commission Members bring front-line experience to intergovernmental issues.


Under its authorizing legislation, ACIR's core functions are to:





In the first comprehensive review ever undertaken of existing federal mandates on state, local, and tribal governments , ACIR will make recommendations to the President and the Congress to retain, suspend, revise, or terminate specific mandates.

The Commission issued its criteria for review in July, 1995, and selected 14 specific mandates for intensive review in September. The preliminary recommendations were made available for public review and comment in January, 1996 in the ACIR DRAFT REPORT, The Role of FEDERAL MANDATES in Intergovernmental Relations. The final version of the report is scheduled to be released later in 1996, and will be made available through ACIR.
The Public Comment Period on the DRAFT REPORT ended on March 29, 1996 and there waw a Public Hearing on March 26, beginning at 9:00 AM and concluding at 4:00 PM in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room #2154 (Independence Ave. and South Capitol St.), Washington, DC. Throughout the day, nearly 200 people provided written and oral testimony. Logs of the comments that ACIR has received concerning the Draft Report, The Role of FEDERAL MANDATES in Intergovernmental Relations should be available at this site soon.
Concurrent to the release of the release of the Draft Report on Federal Mandates, ACIR hosted the most comprehensive conference on Federal Mandates to date: Lightening the Load, The ACIR Conference on Unfunded Federal Mandates, which was held on March 6 and 7, 1996 at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The conference included seminars and workshops that focused on all aspects of unfunded federal mandates, and featured speakers and panelists who represent all sides of the issues on which the seminars and workshops focused. Conference Summaries are available free of cost at this WWW site.


Benchmarking Intergovernmental Service Delivery- Responding to a recommendation of the National Performance Review, the Commission began a study to assess the potential of outcome-oriented performance management processes to improve the delivery of intergovernmental programs. The study evaluates the strategic planning, performance goal-setting, and performance measurement practices of selected federal, state, and local public works agencies. A draft policy report was considered by the Commission in December 1995, and is expected to be completed, adopted, and published in 1996.


With its Block Grant Issue Brief, FY 1995 updates of Characteristics of Federal Grants to State and Local Governments and its Grant Fragmentation Index, and testimony before the House Government Operations Committee, ACIR continues to monitor and analyze changes in the system. These and many other publications can be purchased directly from ACIR. Please see our Publications List.


ACIR keeps track of the intergovernmental fiscal scene annually with Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism, and with periodic research reports on such topics as tax systems, tax and expenditure limitations, and local government health care responsibilities. Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism and many other publications can be purchased directly from ACIR. Please see our Publications List.



In addition to its traditional research program, ACIR also offers its services to other members of the federal system as well as other parties in the intergovernmental arena (e.g. states, local, and tribal governments). If you represent an intergovernmental organization and are wondering what ACIR can do for you, please inquire by calling (202) 653-5540 or see these related documents:


ACIR's work is supported by a Congressional appropriation, contributions from state governments, the sale of Commission reports, and intergovernmental contracts.

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