Advertisement

After the Fall: Post OTA Efforts to Fill the Gap

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

Abstract

When OTA suspended operations in 1995, a number of existing and new organizations sought to fill the gap. The congressional leadership’s assumption that CRS would take up OTA’s mission never materialized. In 2001 Congress asked GAO to experiment with technology assessment to gauge whether it could fill some of the gap. The experiment has continued although key structural weaknesses remain, such as the lack of a TAB-like structure to establish priorities in allocating resources and to tune to the congressional agenda. Direct connection to the congressional agenda is diluted further by the overwhelming scale of the balance of GAO’s auditing-style work. An expected increase in the use of the National Research Council in the wake of OTA’s closure was short-lived as well. NRC reports are of a different character than that of OTA reports, mainly due to differences in key features of the study processes used to produce them. Finally, cessation of OTA’s operations in 1995 stalled continuing development of technology assessment in the United States, but organizations modelled on OTA flourished in Europe.

Keywords

Technology Assessment Advisory Panel Government Accountability Border Security National Research Council Report 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

  1. 2.
    Government Accountability Office, “Using Biometrics for Border Security,” GAO-03–174, November 15, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Robert W. Fri, M. Granger Morgan (chair), William A. (Skip) Stiles. “An External Evaluation of the GAO’s Assessment of Technologies for Border Control,” October 18, 2002.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Government Accountability Office, “Protecting Structures and Improving Communications During Wildland Fires,” GAO-05–380, April 26, 2005.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Government Accountability Office, “Using Biometrics for Border Security” GAO-03–174, November 15, 2002.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Government Accountability Office. “Explosives Detection Technologies to Protect Passenger Rail,” GAO-10–898, July 28, 2010.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Timothy M. Persons, “Technology Assessment Capability for the U.S. Congress,” AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, May 13, 2010, 14PP. See John F. Ahearne and Peter D. Blair, “Expanded Use of the National Academies” in Morgan and Peha (eds) Science and Technology Advice for Congress, Washington, DC: RFF Press, Chapter 8, pp. 118–133 and Appendix 2, 2003, pp. 191–207; andGoogle Scholar
  7. Peter D. Blair, “Scientific Advice for Policy in the United States: Lessons from the National Academies and the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment,” in Justus Lentsch and Peter Weingart (eds), Between Science and Politics — Quality Control in the Advisory Process, London: Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 297–333.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    National Research Council, Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Office of Technology Assessment, Electric Power Wheeling and Dealing: Technological Considerations for Increasing Competition, NTIS order #PB89–232748, 1989.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Bruce Bimber, The Politics of Expertise in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Office of Technology Assessment, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996, p. 43.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    See David Dickson. “Europeans Embrace Technology Assessment,” Science, Vol. 231, February 7, 1986, pp. 541–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 18.
    Janet Raloff, “Assessing OTAs Legacy: Examining What Remains, Now That OTA is Gone,” Science News, Vol. 148, No. 18, October 28, 1995, p. 286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter D. Blair 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter D. Blair

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations