US Supreme Court Decisions On-Line | US Laws

§ 472. —  Office of Technology Assessment.

[Laws in effect as of January 24, 2002]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
  January 24, 2002 and December 19, 2002]
[CITE: 2USC472]

                          TITLE 2--THE CONGRESS
Sec. 472. Office of Technology Assessment

(a) Creation

    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 

(b) Composition

    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 
        (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; 
        (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, Sec. 3, Oct. 13, 1972, 86 Stat. 797.)

                  Section Referred to in Other Sections

    This section is referred to in section 476 of this title.

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