All Topics » Science and Technology
Science and Technology (21 - 30 of 544 items)
Federal Acquisitions: Use of 'Other Transaction' Agreements Limited and Mostly for Research and Development Activities
GAO-16-209: Published: Jan 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 7, 2016.
Congress has authorized 11 federal agencies to use other transaction agreements—which generally do not follow a standard format or include terms and conditions required in traditional mechanisms, such as contracts or grants—to help meet project requirements and mission needs. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) first received this authority in 1958. Over the next several d...
Women in STEM Research: Better Data and Information Sharing Could Improve Oversight of Federal Grant-making and Title IX Compliance
GAO-16-14: Published: Dec 3, 2015. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 2015.
GAO's analysis of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research grant awards made between fiscal years 2009 and 2013 identified no disparities in success rates between women and men at three agencies selected for review, but data limitations provided limited insight into success rates at three other agencies selected for review. At two of the agencies with data limitations—th...
GPS: Actions Needed to Address Ground System Development Problems and User Equipment Production Readiness
GAO-15-657: Published: Sep 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2015.
The Air Force has experienced significant difficulties developing the Global Positioning System (GPS) next generation operational control system (OCX) and consistently overstated progress to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) compared to advisory independent assessments it received. It needs $1.1 billion and 4 years more than planned to deliver OCX due to poor acquisition decisions and a...
Technology Assessment: Water in the Energy Sector: Reducing Freshwater Use in Hydraulic Fracturing and Thermoelectric Power Plant Cooling
GAO-15-545: Published: Aug 7, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2015.
Waterless and water-efficient fracturing technologies such as gas-based fracturing or foams have been used to reduce the use of freshwater in hydraulic fracturing operations, although the main benefit is enhanced hydrocarbon recovery. The geologic formation characteristics of shale plays largely determine their use. According to experts GAO consulted, hydraulic fracturing operators are managing th...
Facial Recognition Technology: Commercial Uses, Privacy Issues, and Applicable Federal Law
GAO-15-621: Published: Jul 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2015.
Facial recognition technology can be used in numerous consumer and business applications, but the extent of its current use in commercial settings is not fully known. The technology is commonly used in software that manages personal photographs and in social networking applications to identify friends. In addition, several companies use the technology to provide secure access to computers, phones,...
Technology Assessment: Nuclear Reactors: Status and Challenges in Development and Deployment of New Commercial Concepts
GAO-15-652: Published: Jul 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2015.
In the United States, four light water small modular reactors (SMRs)—nuclear power reactors with a generating capacity of less than 300 MW of electricity—have been developed to the point that the reactor designers have begun discussing design certification and license applications with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and one SMR designer has established time-frames for applications to...
EPA Science Advisory Panels: Preliminary Observations on the Processes for Providing Scientific Advice
GAO-15-636T: Published: May 20, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) procedures for processing congressional requests for scientific advice from the Science Advisory Board (SAB) do not ensure compliance with the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 (ERDDAA) because these procedures are incomplete. For example, they do not clearly outline how the EPA Administrator, the SAB staff...
Women in STEM Research: Federal Agencies Differ in the Data They Collect on Grant Applicants
GAO-15-291R: Published: Mar 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 2015.
Three of the six federal grant-making agencies we reviewed that support research in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields—the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture—routinely collect demographic information about the individual researchers who apply for and receive federal g...
Defense Science and Technology: Further DOD and DOE Actions Needed to Provide Timely Conference Decisions and Analyze Risks from Changes in Participation [Reissued on March 13, 2015]
GAO-15-278: Published: Mar 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2015.
Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Energy (DOE) officials cited reduced attendance at science and technology (S&T) conferences by scientists and engineers since DOD and DOE implemented their conference policies. These policies, responding to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements, established processes for senior-level review and approval of conference requests based on depa...
Federal Research: DOE Is Addressing Invention Disclosure and Other Challenges but Needs a Plan to Guide Data Management Improvements
GAO-15-212: Published: Jan 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided at least a total of $11 billion ($12 billion in fiscal year 2014 dollars) in research and development funding to contractors for fiscal years 2009 through 2013. Contractors reported about 5,800 inventions and 700 patents developed with DOE funding during this time period. To ensure disclosure of these agency funded inventions, DOE relies primarily on co...