CRS offers changes for White House tech office

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CRS report

Congress might consider elevating the role of director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to a Cabinet post, and to allow the director to be more active in federal agency coordination, priority-setting and budget allocation, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service.

“An issue for Congress is what should be the appropriate title, rank, role and responsibilities of OSTP’s Director,” states the 40-page congressional report dated Nov. 10. It was published on the Web by the Federation of American Scientists.

The OSTP was created in 1976 to provide advice to the president. Its director also manages a council that coordinates technology policies governmentwide, establishes goals for federal research and development, and assists federal scientists and engineers in communicating scientific information.

The CRS report suggests that Congress has many options with regard to the office. Lawmakers could consider allowing the president autonomy over the office, or to evaluate whether it is still needed in the White House.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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