This report is divided into three parts: first, an account of science advice to Congress and its dependence on its agencies; secondly, a more detailed look at the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) as the agency with most to offer other countries and most resemblance to parliamentary committee work; and thirdly, a short consideration of whether or not an OTA is appropriate for the UK.
This document is a faxed transmission of Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) materials located in the National Archives as overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and as of May 12, 1998.
This document presents the findings of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) staff assessment of policy analysis that took place in 1992. It consisted of reviewing 18 sample OTA reports and soliciting opinions about OTA's policy analysis from outside observers. This report presents the findings of this assessment, along with options for OTA management and suggestions for OTA project directors.
The primary purpose of this report is to identify options for enhancing the effectiveness of export controls in slowing or preventing the spread of capabilities to develop and produce weapons of mass destruction.
This paper discusses the history and status of the ALMR research program. It presents applications of this technology to the plutonium disposition problem and the possible advantages and disadvantages of its future development and deployment. It also discusses related issues such as waste management and concerns about proliferation of plutonium material.
This report takes a strategic look at the development of electronic commerce and identifies the characteristics of the infrastructure that will be required to support it. The report found that, in an electronically networked economy, the design and underlying architecture of the global information infrastructure will have a major impact on national economic growth and development.
There are two longstanding constraints to implementing more energy efficient practices: 1) a shortage of finds to invest in efficient equipment; and 2) a lack of information for program planning and budgeting about the extent of investment opportunities and about the best finding mechanisms. This paper reviews advances made in addressing these constraints since 1991.
A technical memorandum by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that presents "findings and conclusions regarding the role of the public and private research participants in the PHTME (postharvest technology and marketing economics) research, the benefits and burdens of PHTME research, trends in PHTME research funding, quality of PHTME research, and management of PHTME research in the public sector (p. iii).
A report by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "summarizes the major provisions of the 1979 Export Administration Act, highlighting those provisions which have led to problems of interpretation or exaction; recounts major provisions in U.S. export control policy towards the Soviet Union since 1979; and discusses the impacts and implications of those events-for the domestic economy, for U.S. political relations with the NATO allies and with the Soviet Union, and for U.S. national security" (p. iii).
A study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that examines "specific factors that affect the research and development, evaluation, diffusion and marketing, delivery, use, and financing of technologies directly related to disabled people" (p. iii).
A case study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that assesses the artificial heart program and "provides an opportunity to address policy questions concerning the distribution of research funds for treating heart disease, the equitable distribution of medical technology, and the potential costs to society before this life-saving technology is available for therapeutic use" (p. 3).
An assessment by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) examining "the full range of effects that nuclear war would have on civilians: direct effects from blast and radiation; and indirect effects from economic, social, and political disruption" (Foreward).
A technical memorandum prepared by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that reviews "the present plan for the Ocean Margin Drilling program and addresses questions on the merits of the program and alternatives to it" and discusses "the institutional capability of the Federal agencies which are to manage this program; the technology development aspects, and the problems and opportunities associated with industry participation" (p. 3).
A report in a series by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) considering renewable ocean energy sources as a possible energy supply. This report focuses on ocean thermal energy conversion and analyzes the feasibility of using it and evaluates current research on the topic (p. iii).
A study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "explores the range of technologies required for exploration and development of offshore energy resources and assesses associated economic factors and financial risks" (p. iii).
A case study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that presents "a careful description of the current and potential application of DSA (Digital Subtraction Angiography) within the area of diagnostic radiology concerned with cerebrovascular disease and to suggest the implications of the technology for patterns of clinical practice and patient care costs under different assumptions" (p. 3-4).
A collection of papers prepared by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "presents a broad range of papers on specific technologies that could benefit both agricultural production and wildlife habitat requirements on private lands" (p. iii).
This report examines the management of the research and development process from which the new technologies are emerging. Partly as a result of the way in which the research and development process is managed, the allocation of research resources appears to be geared to meeting short-term needs and solving isolated problems, rather than to pursuing long-term goals and developing integrated verification regimes for the future. The report identifies a range of organizational options that might help improve the balance of research emphasis.
Policy interest in Medicare’s payment policies regarding recombinant erythropoietin has arisen chiefly because of the biologic’s expense. Because of concern about the implications of recombinant erythropoietin use for Medicare expenditures, the House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health, requested OTA to examine alternative payment policies that Medicare might adopt to pay for the biologic. In responding to that request, this Special Report reviews clinical and economic issues regarding the use of recombinant erythropoietin and develops a series of options for Congressional consideration.
This OTA background paper evaluates the current state of knowledge and assesses the potential of bioremediation for responding to marine oil spills. Our basic message is a dual one: we caution that there are still many uncertainties about the use of bioremediation as a practical oil spill response technology; nevertheless, it could be appropriate in certain circumstances, and further research and development of bioremediation technologies could lead to enhancing the Nation’s capability to fight marine oil spills.
An assessment by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "addresses the recent controversy surrounding the implementation of the environmental protection aspects of the Federal coal leasing program" (p. iii).
A technical memorandum by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "describes Federal activities that have taken place since 1979; reevaluates the 1979 cost-effectiveness analysis of vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia, including new information on vaccine efficacy; and discusses policy implications" (p. iii).
This report discusses the earth data—positional, topographic, climatological, meteorological, man–made features, and changes over time in all of these, which are increasingly important to the military. Data from these systems are bought and extensively used by the military and intelligence communities. The need to integrate data from military-unique systems as well only complicates the situation.
This OTA assessment reviews the status of federal government efforts to provide safe sanitation to Alaskan Natives and the technologies that have been used or proposed for this purpose. Finally, the report examines the legislative and institutional setting for the waste sanitation problems, and the criteria that need to be applied in selecting and implementing new technologies.
This paper examined the technologies and issues to be considered at World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC)-92, discusses the international and domestic context for WARC-93 preparations, and analyzed the U.S. process of conference preparation.
Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA) includes two programs: employment and training assistance for workers who have lost jobs on account of trade and technical assistance for firms and industries hurt by imports. Both parts of TAA have the potential to help workers and businesses adjust to intensifying global competition. This report discusses options for TAA redesign and administration that could make both programs more effective.
This background report responds to a request by the Subcommittee on Water and Power Resources of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The subcommittee asked that OTA review the health effects of high-voltage transmission lines. To provide background information for its assessment on electric power wheeling, OTA contracted with the Carnegie-Mellon University.
This OTA background paper discusses the prevalence of hearing impairment and its impact on elderly people; hearing devices and services that may benefit them; and problems in the service delivery system that limit access to these devices and services.
Three major areas are covered in this Staff Paper: 1) a review of the studies of health effects related to passive smoking; 2) a review of current Federal, State and local, and private sector workplace smoking policies; and 3) a discussion of factors to consider in an analysis of the costs and benefits of implementing a workplace smoking policy.
A study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that examines the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of cardiac radionuclide imaging, a new diagnostic technology used in the diagnosis and management of heart disease.
A case study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that focuses on bone marrow transplantation "presents both a critical analysis of the technology itself and policy options that would strengthen control over the rate of technological diffusion" (p. 3).
A case study commissioned by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that attempts to "advance the state of the art cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) as the technique pertains to disease prevention and health promotion programs," using cervical cancer screening as the object of analysis (Summary).
A case study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "touches on only some of the aspects of technology assessment that might be undertaken with respect to multichannel chemistry analyzers" (p. 7).
A report on an analysis done by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) on whether or not it is feasible to separate "exploration from production of oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf" (p. iii).
A report by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) analyzing the status of ERDA regarding short-term and long-term energy problems. It follows a 1975 analysis that contained a plan for ERDA; this report shows the progress since then and highlights 16 major issues that are of importance.
A report prepared by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) covering the topic of of "the degree of automation which is technically feasible, economically justifiable, or otherwise appropriate for rail rapid transit" (p. viii).
A report by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) evaluating the efforts made to improve the safety of the nation's railroads. The report gives "a comprehensive and systematic review of railroad safety" and assists "in current and future legislative deliberations on railroad safety" (p. v").
A report by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) that "synthesizes OTA's technical analyses of acid rain and other transported pollutants, and presents policy alternatives for congressional considerations" (p. iii).
This report is the first in a broad assessment of the health and future prospects of the U.S. space transportation technology and industrial base. The report focuses on the Clinton Administration’s National Space Transportation Policy. It examines administration policy in light of the implementation plans prepared by NASA, DOD, and the Transportation and Commerce Departments.
This report discusses a seven-country study of hospital financing is an attempt to find lessons for the United States. The individual experiences over the past decade of the United States and six of its international peers—Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden—in hospital financing and payment systems are reviewed by experts in each country.
The background paper summarizes the evidence on the effectiveness and costs of prostate cancer screening and treatment in elderly men and explores the implications for Medicare of offering this preventive technology as a Medicare benefit.
This report looks behind the published estimates to examine analysts’ approaches to estimating future national health expenditures. In particular, the report appraises the analysts’ estimates of the potential effects of four provisions that may be key to modeling alternative reforms (government cost controls, managed competition and increased HMO enrollment, coverage for uninsured people, and administrative streamlining). The report compares assumptions in these areas to evidence from available research. The report also draws policy implications for congressional consideration.
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