Congressional Watchdog Announces New Team to Strengthen the Agency’s Science Capabilities

Feb 8, 2019

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently announced that it has launched a new Science, Technology Assessment and Analytics (STAA) team. GAO, colloquially known as the “congressional watchdog”, falls under the legislative branch of the government where it is tasked with providing congress with fact-based, nonpartisan information. This information includes analyses of how federal agencies treat and implement science and technology (S&T) such as regenerative medicine, 5G wireless communication, and quantum computing.

In its most recent five year strategic plan for 2018-2023, GAO identified five emerging technologies and scientific advances that have the potential to wield great influence over society. They are: Genome Editing; Artificial Intelligence and Automation; Quantum Information Science; Brain/Augmented Reality; and Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. The STAA will use these technologies as a roadmap as part of its works.

The new STAA team will further help GAO expand its S&T capabilities through a strong focus on the following:

  • Technology assessments and technical services for the Congress,
  • Auditing federal science and technology programs,
  • Compiling and utilizing best practices in the engineering sciences, including cost, schedule, and technology readiness assessment, and
  • Establishing an audit innovation lab to explore, pilot, and deploy new advanced analytic capabilities, information assurance auditing, and emerging technologies that are expected to greatly impact auditing practices.

For more information about STAA, click here:

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