By: Paul Saffo
What is the kernel of the issue?
The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) has laid dormant since being defunded in 1995.
Why is the issue important?
The OTA provided Congress with objective expert analyses of scientific and technical issues critical to legislative decision-making. Recent events from the pandemic to climate-related weather disasters are a reminder that sound science-based inputs into the legislative process are more important than ever, but without the OTA’s resource, Congress is flying blind.
What is the recommendation?
The Biden administration should revive and expand the OTA as an authoritative source of analysis for Congress. Despite its defunding, the OTA became a model for other similar governmental advisory bodies around the globe. So let’s take a lesson from the rest of the world and bring the OTA back to life!