Key Features of the Technology Assessment Act of 1972

  • Peter D. Blair
Part of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy book series (STIPOL)


OTA was the first new legislative branch agency formed since creation of the General Accounting Office (GAO) in 1921. OTA’s organic legislation included unique organizational features, including a Technology Assessment Board (TAB), which was created as a bicameral and bipartisan governance structure with equal majority and minority representation of House and Senate members, and a Technology Assessment Advisory Council (TAAC), composed principally of inembers appointed from outside government, the role of which evolved as the agency grew and matured. Throughout OTA’s history TAB remained a central organizational element and was unique among the legislative analytical support agencies at the time—GAO, the Congressional Research Service, the Congressional Budget Office, and OTA. Over time TAB proved essential to aligning OTA’s program of assessments with the Congressional agenda.


Large Hadron Collider Technology Assessment General Account Office Vice Chairman Congressional Committee 
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© Peter D. Blair 2013

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  • Peter D. Blair

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