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providing information regarding economic projections and the Congressional budget process. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Economic Committee both have highly qualified professional staffs doing a great deal of work in this area. Aren't you duplicating their work?
Answer: While the CBO is the lead support agency in providing Congress with budget analyses and both CBO and the Joint Economic Committee have highly qualified staffs, the restoration of a GS-7 congressional budget process analyst to CRS would not duplicate their efforts because this analyst would respond to questions on the budgetary process as an element of the legislative process. For example, the researcher would respond to inquiries relating to the authorization and appropriations processes and to the provisions of the Budget Act and the mechanisms for enforcing them and proposals to change them. These duties would involve analysis of congressional rules and procedures and would not duplicate the work of either the JEC or the CBO. Moreover, the client priorities assigned to the Congressional Budget Office by statute make it virtually impossible for CBO to devote much of its resources to work for individual Members. Members, therefore, turn to CRS for assistance in comprehending the budget process. The other position referred to in this question, the analyst in econometrics, would also restore a previously approved and funded position. This analyst will respond to requests for assistance from Members and committees to trace quantitatively effects on the economy, and sectors of the economy, of specific alternative tax and other policy options, not to make general budget projections. Recently, for example, we have been asked to estimate economic effects of oil import fees and a BTU tax. Requests we receive tend to involve effects of policy alternatives of interest to particular Members, not general economic projections or budget forecasts, and thus our work does not duplicate that of the Congressional Budget Office. In addition, CRS has provided extensive analytical support to the Joint Economic Committee and continues to
the committee as a supplemental resource for its staff.
Question: You are requesting $276,045 for eight policy analysis and research positions. This works out to about $34,500 a position. How does this figure compare with the average salary currently paid to your policy analysis and research personnel?
Answer: The average salary for positions currently in the CRS budget in the "Policy Analysis and Research" program activity is $41,874, which includes fringe benefits. The eight new positions requested in this category have a lower average annual salary, also including fringe benefits, by $7,400.
Question: Why do you need an analyst in materials science when we have an Office of Technology Assessment to deal with highly technical scientific issues?
Answer: CRS has been analytically active in the issues associated with materials science, technology, and economics for more that two decades. Over these years, CRS has helped provide information, perspective, and close support work for hearings, bill development and analysis, and committee mark-up, as well as further support work with Members interested in considering amendments during floor debate and in conference committee. Our analysts have provided an "institutional memory" for the Congress as Members and staff have changed
over the years, helped to brief new Members and staff as they approach these ongoing issues for their initial exposures to them, and provided a track record of congressional deliberations through our reports, studies, and contributions to congressional documents. CRS has been doing these things in the materials science area since long before OTA was created. CRS cannot see any change in its workload from the Members and staff of Congress as a result of OTA's presence on the scene a congressional support agency; moreover, the Congress has demonstrated, on many occasions, the need for quick response information in this area--a capability not envisioned expected of OTA. CRS believes that the work OTA does is not duplicative of the work we do, and we believe this not only on the basis of the agency missions defined in our respective authorizing legislation but also on the basis of our examination of the major projects undertaken by OTA and reported in the Research Notification System.
Question: Last year in responses submitted for the record you provided information indicating that word processors could be purchased and serviced for three years for less than it would cost to rent the equipment over a three year period. However, you went
to say "with the rapid advances in the word processing field, CRS has believed that it is neither technically desirable nor financially advantageous to purchase word processing systems.' This response would seem to indicate that you replace your word processors in less than three years on the average. What is the average use life of the word processors you rent?
Answer: The Congressional Research Service first leased word processing equipment in 1973. Over the past nine years, the equipment has been upgraded on an average of every three years.
The Lexitron Model 911s were upgraded to Model 921s in 1975 and 1976, and a large percentage of the 1000s were installed since 1978. Had CRS purchased these items and turned them in for credit instead of upgrading the existing systems, the total equipment costs would have been significantly higher over the years. However, in 1981 the Raytheon Corporation, which had acquired the Lexitron Corporation, proposed a special price which enabled the Library and CRS to acquire some of the word processing equipment needed for our operations at cost less than the one year lease price. While the technology is still changing rapidly, and costs are decreasing, it is almost impossible for the Library and CRS to lease any word processing equipment at a better price. Additional word processing capability is provided by the Library's current contract with Compucorp which offers significant savings over previous leases, and anticipates that this equipment will have a useful life of three years, as reflected by the length of the contract.
Salaries and Expenses, Books for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Question: The Library's budget request indicates that six new positions for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped are needed. Does your statement this morning that the appropriation for "Books for the Blind and Physically Handicapped" does not need the additional $2.1 million mean that these new positions are unnecessary?
Answer: The positions requested are still necessary for the effective administration of the current program. Since we submitted our fiscal 1983 budget request in October 1981, we have reviewed our
1983 needs and have determined that the amount originally requested for the replacement of talking book machines is $2,094,000 higher than actually needed. We are therefore requesting your approval to reprogram to provide for the 6 new positions as well as other current level increases. This reprogramming will allow us to provide the level of funding necessary for our revised fiscal 1983 program without increase in the actual amount appropriated for fiscal 1982.
OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN H. GIBBONS, DIRECTOR
Senator MATTINGLY. I would like to welcome Dr. John H. Gibbons, Director, Office of Technology Assessment.
If you would like, Dr. Gibbons, you may submit your statement and then we will get to the questions.
Dr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would offer my full statement for the record and only make some summary comments for you this morning, if that is appropriate.
Senator MATTINGLY. Your prepared statement will be inserted in the record at this point. (The statement follows:]
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN H. GIBBONS
OTA, created by Act of Congress, is the science and technology
analytical arm for Congress.
Its responsibility is two-fold: (a) to analyze
current important issues in technology and policy
for example, air traffic
control, nuclear and non-nuclear waste disposal, or the command, control,
communications, and intelligence system for strategic nuclear weapons; and (b)
to provide foresight on emerging 18sues
for example, the looming shortage
of affordable, dependable, high-quality water or potential impacts of
continued technical advances in micro-electronics, genetic engineering, and
OTA's job is to identify and analyze options and to clarify policy
The intended result of OTA's work is more effective use of the
money and authority that is available to government.
Sometimes OTA identifies
opportunities for major reductions in Federal government involvement in an
area (e.g., synfuels development, radioactive waste management).
times OTA may identify cost-effective opportunities for increased involvement
(e.g., coverage of vaccines in Medicare).
OTA also calls attention to the
limitations, drawbacks, and benefits of ongoing or proposed government
programs and policies (e.g., MX Missile Basing; Technology and Soviet Energy
OTA performs most of its work at the request of Committees, but
all of its results are available to all Members and summaries of its reports
The issues that OTA tackles include some of the most controversial
and costly problems the Congress faces.
OTA's budget is but a minute fraction
of the proposed or approved Federal expenditures for activities which it