Should Congress Immediately Resurrect Their Tech Organization?


With technology playing an intricate part of our police forces, government, and security, could it be time for Congress to step up the technology game to ensure only the best is being utilized? In 1972, upon the rise of technology, the government formerly crafted a group of stellar minded individuals, known as the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA).  According to Wired, “The OTA was staffed with several hundred nonpartisan propellerheads who studied emerging science and tech. Every year they’d write numerous clear, detailed reports—What happens if Detroit gets hit with an atom bomb? What’ll be the impact of automation?—and they were on call to help any congressperson.”

They continue to emphasize the organization’s phenomenal attributes, writing, “Its reports helped save money and lives: The OTA found that expanding Medicaid to all pregnant women in poverty would lower the cost of treatment for low-birth-weight babies by as much as $30,000 per birth. It pointed out the huge upsides of paying for rural broadband and of preparing for climate change. With a budget of only $20 million a year, the little agency had an outsize impact.” 

Unfortunately, the group funding was subsequently cut just before the technology boom that would deem this organization more necessary than ever. However, it seems that many are rooting for a reboot that could jumpstart the endeavors right where they left off! While many do understand the importance of retaining elite technical advice, the process would require a large amount of voting and negotiating.

As officers rely heavily on body cams and the nation is amping up security, could this be the greatest opportunity to reinstate the OTA?

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