Office of Technology Assessment

The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was an office of the United States Congress that operated from 1974 to 1995. OTA's purpose was to provide congressional members and committees with objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific and technical issues of the late 20th century, i.e. technology assessment. It was a leader in practicing and encouraging delivery of public services in innovative and inexpensive ways, including early involvement in the distribution of government documents through electronic publishing. Its model was widely copied around the world.

OTA seal

The OTA was authorized in 1972 and received its first funding in fiscal year 1974.[1] It was defunded at the end of 1995, following the 1994 mid-term elections which led to Republican control of the Senate and the House. House Republican legislators characterized the OTA as wasteful and hostile to GOP interests.

Princeton University hosts The OTA Legacy site, which holds "the complete collection of OTA publications along with additional materials that illuminate the history and impact of the agency". On July 23, 2008 the Federation of American Scientists launched a similar archive that includes interviews and additional documents about OTA.[2]