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Office of Technology Assessment

What's Inside this Collection.

Office of Technology Assessment

About This Collection

The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) Collection includes quarterly and annual reports, catalogs of publications, and internal OTA documents such as orientation materials. The items in this collection were produced between 1979 and 1998. For the many interesting topical publications produced by OTA, please see the OTA Legacy collection available via the CyberCemetery.

About the Office of Technology Assessment

The Office of Technology Assessment was created by Congress in 1972 with Public Law 92-484 and closed on September 29, 1995. During its twenty-three-year history, OTA provided Congressional members and committees with analyses of the scientific and technological issues that were increasingly relevant to public policy and legislative action.

OTA occupied a unique role among the Congressional information agencies. Unlike the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which is primarily concerned with evaluation of ongoing programs, and the Congressional Research Service, which provides rapid information on legislative topics, OTA provided a deeper, more comprehensive, and more technical level of analysis. Through eleven Congressional sessions, OTA became a key resource for Congressional members and staff confronting technological issues in crafting public policy. Its existence brought a healthy balance to the analytical resources available to the executive and legislative branches of government.

The agency's legacy is found in the many items of legislation it influenced and in the channels of communication its staff helped foster between legislative policymakers and members of the scientific, technical, and business communities.