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OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT 7
2. Explanation of Changes Shown on Schedule C
Office of Technology Assessment
A. MANDATORY PAY AND RELATED COSTS
1.Excess Day, from 261 to 260 work days in FY 1995
2. FTE reduction of 3 temporary staff to meet the 4% reduction in Sec. 307 of PL 103-69
3. January 1995 2.6% Cost-of-Living Adjustment
4. Merit increases and promotions averaging 3% agency-wide
5. Annualization of January 1994 4% plus estimated January 1995 7.5% health benefit increases
B. PRICE LEVEL CHANGES
1. Travel inflation rate of 10% applied to base
2. Postage rate increase of 14% effective in April 1995
3. Miscellaneous transportation inflation rate of 2.7% applied to base
4. Building lease escalation based on 30% of change in CPI-W for
5. Telephone services inflation rate of 10% applied to base
6. Miscellaneous communications inflation rate of 2.7% applied to base
adjustment and within-grade increases
9. Other services inflation rate of 2.7% applied to base 10.Supplies and materials inflation rate of 2.7% applied to base
11. Equipment inflation rate of 2.7% applied non ADP equipment base
C. PROGRAM TYPE CHANGES
Staff Amount (000)
OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
3. Summary of Agency Request
Schedule D: Office of Technology Assessment FY 1995 Budget Request
4. Overview of OTA's Role The prosperity and security of the Nation depend in no small part on how the U.S. Congress and others anticipate and respond to complex issues involving science and technology. OTA has an unequalled record in providing Congress with facts, figures, and nonpartisan analyses it can rely on in dealing with critical national issues involving science and technology. As we approach the 21st century, the United States and the world are undergoing momentous political, economic, social, and technological transformations that pose both new problems and new opportunities for the nation's lawmakers. U.S. lawmakers seeking to cope with these transformations are likely to find that the guidance OTA can provide is more valuable than ever.
With the end of the Cold War, the United States is free for the first time in 50 years to focus more of its energies on domestic problems. OTA can advise Congress on the many ways in which science and technology can be marshalled to help meet pressing domestic needs.
Getting the U.S. economy on a sound footing for the years ahead is clearly a high priority of the 104th Congress. One of the challenges will be to find productive civilian uses for the resources that were formerly devoted to the Nation's defense. OTA's assessment of U.S. Technology and the Defense Conversion, which includes Defense Conversion; Redirecting R&D, concentrates on new opportunities in this area. Another OTA report, Adult Literacy and New Technologies: Tools for a Lifetime, focuses on how information technologies can help equip U.S. citizens with the skills needed to participate fully in the workplace. Multinationals and the National Interest discusses how to help ensure that multinational corporations such as IBM and AT&T work to
support economic growth and high standards of living in the United States. • Health care reform increasingly is coming to dominate the domestic policy agenda, and OTA
can help U.S. lawmakers sort out some of the dilemmas that arise in the debate. An Inconsistent Picture: A Compilation of Analyses of Economic Impacts of Competing Approaches to Health Care Reform by Experts and Stakeholders, for example, points to some of the reasons for the wide range of differences in estimated economic impacts of approaches to health care reform. OTA's report Pharmaceutical R&D: Costs, Risks, and Rewards can help inform the development
of sound Federal policies related to payment for prescription drugs. • Another item high on the domestic policy agenda is “reinventing government.” At a time when
demand is growing and budgets are tighter, Federal, State and local governments face the challenge of delivering better services faster and at less cost. OTA's report Making Government Work: Electronic Delivery of Federal Services provides Congress with alternative strategies for improving the performance of government by using modern computer and telecommunication
technologies. • Dealing with environmental problems will be a continuing challenge for U.S. policymakers for
the foreseeable future. Many scientists believe that as a result of CO, emissions from cars and other factors, the Earth's climate is likely to warm by several degrees during the next few decades. OTA's report Preparing for an Uncertain Climate discusses how U.S. policymakers can begin to plan for the possibility of global warming in the light of considerable uncertainties about when, where, and how much change will occur. Another OTA report, Dismantling the Bomb and Managing the Nuclear Materials, presents options for the successful dismantlement and disposition of nuclear weapons materials. This is one of the major environmental and public
10 OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
■ Decisions related to the use of nuclear power will affect economic growth, the quality of the environment, and national security for years to come. Currently, 107 operating nuclear power plants in the United States supply over 20 percent of the country's electricity. As these plants age, issues related to plant lives and decommissioning are likely to become much more visible and draw more attention. OTA's report Aging Nuclear Power Plants: Managing Plant Life and Decommissioning identifies Federal efforts that could contribute to more timely and better informed decisions about these plants.
The end of the Cold War and the changes that have ensued necessitate radical rethinking of America's foreign and national security policy. For the first time in half a century, the United States faces no massive military threat from another superpower. OTA can provide useful perspectives on the role of technology in this new era.
■ Energy Efficiency Technologies for Central and Eastern Europe, part of OTA's assessment of Energy and Environmental Technology Transfer to Central and Eastern Europe, notes that transferring technology to improve the efficiency of energy use is one highly cost-effective way for the United States to encourage economic reform, democratization, and stability in the former communist countries of the Soviet bloc. Energy is used very wastefully in formerly centrally planned economies, and the waste limits economic development and contributes to local and global environmental degradation.
■The proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction-especially in unstable regions of the world such as the Middle East, S. Asia, and Korea-is likely to pose a major security threat to the United States and other countries for many years to come. OTA's report Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing the Risks identifies a range of measures from which a coherent nonproliferation treaty might be constructed.
OTA's work in FY 1995 will continue to reflect the explicit needs of the committees of jurisdiction. The bipartisan, bicameral Technology Assessment Board (TAB) will guide OTA's work with committees and shape the agency's agenda through the assessment proposal approval process. OTA serves as a shared resource for Congress, providing nonpartisan analysis of scientific and technological issues-issues intrinsic to all important policy issues—in a cost-effective way.
5. OTA's Accomplishments During Fiscal Year 1993
During FY 1993, OTA delivered 53 publications to Congress, including 27 assessment reports, 23 background papers, and 3 administrative documents (see p. 91). As of September 30, 1993, 41 TAB-approved studies and 13 special responses were in progress. As an integral part of carrying out assessments, OTA also provided expert advice, briefings, testimony, and results of OTA assessments matched to the specific needs of the requesting committees and the congressional agenda (see p. 153).
Toward the end of January 1993, new senior management had begun to be put in place at OTA. Originally installed on an acting basis, by the end of FY 1993 an entirely new top management team was confirmed, consisting of a new Director and two new Assistant Directors. This reorganization, initiated with the departure of former Director John H. Gibbons to assume the position of President Clinton's Science Advisor, continued in response to several needs. Downsizing of the Legislative Branch required a response from OTA that reacted to the need for maintaining produc