§472. Office of Technology Assessment
In accordance with the findings and declaration of purpose in section 471 of this title, there is hereby created the Office of Technology Assessment (hereinafter referred to as the “Office”) which shall be within and responsible to the legislative branch of the Government.
The Office shall consist of a Technology Assessment Board (hereinafter referred to as the “Board”) which shall formulate and promulgate the policies of the Office, and a Director who shall carry out such policies and administer the operations of the Office.
(c) Functions and duties
The basic function of the Office shall be to provide early indications of the probable beneficial and adverse impacts of the applications of technology and to develop other coordinate information which may assist the Congress. In carrying out such function, the Office shall:
(1) identify existing or probable impacts of technology or technological programs;
(2) where possible, ascertain cause-and-effect relationships;
(3) identify alternative technological methods of implementing specific programs;
(4) identify alternative programs for achieving requisite goals;
(5) make estimates and comparisons of the impacts of alternative methods and programs;
(6) present findings of completed analyses to the appropriate legislative authorities;
(7) identify areas where additional research or data collection is required to provide adequate support for the assessments and estimates described in paragraph (1) through (5) of this subsection; and
(8) undertake such additional associated activities as the appropriate authorities specified under subsection (d) of this section may direct.
(d) Initiation of assessment activities
Assessment activities undertaken by the Office may be initiated upon the request of:
(1) the chairman of any standing, special, or select committee of either House of the Congress, or of any joint committee of the Congress, acting for himself or at the request of the ranking minority member or a majority of the committee members;
(2) the Board; or
(3) the Director, in consultation with the Board.
(e) Availability of information
Assessments made by the Office, including information, surveys, studies, reports, and findings related thereto, shall be made available to the initiating committee or other appropriate committees of the Congress. In addition, any such information, surveys, studies, reports, and findings produced by the Office may be made available to the public except where—
(1) to do so would violate security statutes; or
(2) the Board considers it necessary or advisable to withhold such information in accordance with one or more of the numbered paragraphs in section 552(b) of title 5.
(Pub. L. 92–484, §3, Oct. 13, 1972, 86 Stat. 797.)