News from the International Nuclear Information System
Number 10, September 2010


Early Influences: The Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee for INIS met for the first time on 18 and 19 November 1971. Established by a recommendation made by the IAEA's Board of Governors in February 1969, the objective of the Committee was to review INIS operations annually. Membership of the committee was not limited to nationals of Member States serving on the Board of Governors. It consisted of experts serving in their personal capacities at the invitation of the IAEA, and which represented INIS input producers, administrators and INIS output users.

The Committee considered economic and scientific policy matters and reported to the Director General of the IAEA. During the early years of INIS, the Committee was an important advisory body, making recommendations regarding INIS' strategic direction and informing INIS operations. Thanks in part to the Committee's interest in the concept of regional centres, INIS took a more active and direct role in assisting the establishment of national or regional centres, which would ultimately provide INIS inputs as well as other INIS related activities. Furthermore, strategically recommended developments also included increasing the direct involvement of national liaison officers to improve coordination and communication between Member States and the INIS Secretariat, or moving towards increased system automation.

However, instead of the yearly frequency first suggested by the Board, the Committee met at about four year intervals. In fact, the Committee reviewed INIS operations at times when major changes in the system were expected or desired.

After having met on ten occasions, the Committee last met in November 1998, when a decision by the Director General of the IAEA to eliminate most advisory bodies reporting directly to the Director General led to the abolition of the Committee. The role previously carried out by the Committee in the early years is now being filled via other, more flexible mechanisms, such as consultancy meetings or other ad hoc meetings convened on specific subjects.


From The International Nuclear Information System - The First Forty Years, 1970-2010 by Claudio Todeschini

Adapted by Bruna Lecossois