GAO Creates New Science and Technology Team

The Government Accountability Office has launched the new Science, Technology Assessment and Analytics (STAA) team, dedicated to using cutting edge research methods to solve Congress’s problems. The team hopes to provide insight and analysis on how federal agencies employ science and technology in dealing with issues such as regenerative medicine, 5G wireless communication, and quantum computing, according to a GAO blog release on the subject.

As the blog explains, the new STAA team will have four core focuses:

  1. Technology assessments and technical services for the Congress,
  2. Auditing federal science and technology programs,
  3. Compiling and utilizing best practices in the engineering sciences, including cost, schedule, and technology readiness assessment, and
  4. 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.

The GAO already does significant work developing technology assessments guides for federal agencies and is heavily involved in assessing cybersecurity technology infrastructure. With the new STAA program, the GAO will expand this function to better protect critical infrastructure and cyber privacy.

According to a GAO release, the team will “assess the management and coordination of federal research and development efforts” in areas such as defense, space, energy and the environment, nuclear, healthcare, and science and innovation.

GAO’s chief scientist Tim Persons and John Neumann will lead the team as managing directors.

In a video announcing the creation of the team, the U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said, “As GAO responds to a greater federal focus on science and technology issues, we plan to continue to grow and enhance our expertise in this essential area.”

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