Monthly Archive for March, 2010

Bring Sound Advice to Congress

Matthew Madia | OMB Watch | February 24, 2010

“Many moons ago, Congress relied on facts, science, and other evidence to guide its thinking and make decisions,” according to this blog.  One source that provided  sound information to Congress was OTA, Madia said.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is pushing to reinstate OTA in the 2011 budget. Information about their effort is available at UCS’s website. UCS’s  letter to Congress supporting reinstatment of OTA has been signed by dozens of organizations interested in good government.  UCS  has also drafted a letter for scientists to send to their representatives in support of  OTA’s renewal.

OTA Reboot

Aliya Sternstein | nextgov/Tech Insider | February 24, 2010

A blog post discusses a push by scientists, engineers and  Rush Holt (D-NJ), to “resuscitate” OTA.  Francesca Grifo from the Union of Concerned Scientists, testifying before the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, said that having sound technical advice can save money by improving policy decisionmaking. Grifo’s testimony is available here.

According to Tech Insider:

Grifo’s organization estimates that the office cost Congress about $20 million annually but, since its extinction, the federal government has squandered billions of dollars on failed systems, including virtual fences to guard the U.S-Mexico border and baggage screening equipment.

Grifo points out in her testimony that other agencies that advise the Congress – the National Academies, the Congressional Research Service, and the Government Accountability Office – have important and related missions but “they cannot meet these needs and replace what the OTA was able to do.”




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