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Science and Technology (11 - 20 of 544 items)
Intellectual Property: Patent Office Should Strengthen Search Capabilities and Better Monitor Examiners' Work
GAO-16-479: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016.
Experts and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiners described a variety of challenges in identifying information relevant to a claimed invention—or “prior art”—that can affect examiners' ability to complete a thorough prior art search in the time allotted and their confidence in their search efforts. These challenges include, among others, the quantity and availability of prior...
Intellectual Property: Survey of U.S. Patent Examiners (GAO-16-478SP, June 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-16-479 and GAO-16-490
GAO-16-478SP: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2016.
This is an e-supplement to GAO-16-479 and GAO-16-490. It provides the results of closed-ended questions from GAO's web-based survey of a stratified random sample of 3,336 eligible patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as of May 2015. The survey was fielded from August to November 2015, and its questions measured examiners' perceptions of (1) PTO's approach to patent qualit...
Defense Weather Satellites: DOD Faces Acquisition Challenges for Addressing Capability Needs
GAO-16-769T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
GAO found in March 2016 that the Department of Defense (DOD), in conducting a requirements review and Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) from 2012 to 2014, generally performed a thorough review for identifying capability gaps in meteorological and oceanographic data—also referred to as weather data—that needed to be met and determining the operational benefit of satisfying these gaps.In doing so,...
Polar Satellites: NOAA Faces Challenges and Uncertainties that Could Affect the Availability of Critical Weather Data
GAO-16-773T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
As highlighted in a May 2016 report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced technical challenges which have resulted in delays in interim milestones. In addition, NOAA faces the potential for a near-term ga...
Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Is Working to Ensure Continuity but Needs to Quickly Address Information Security Weaknesses and Future Program Uncertainties
GAO-16-359: Published: May 17, 2016. Publicly Released: May 17, 2016.
The $11.3 billion Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced recent delays in meeting interim milestones, including a key instrument on the spacecraft that was delivered almost 2 years later than planned. In addition, the program has experienced cost growth ranging from...
Genetically Engineered Crops: USDA Needs to Enhance Oversight and Better Understand Impacts of Unintended Mixing with Other Crops
GAO-16-241: Published: Mar 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have taken steps to regulate genetically-engineered (GE) crops (i.e., crops whose genetic makeup has been modified), but USDA has not updated its regulations to oversee GE crops derived from alternative technologies in which the GE crop developed contains no plant pest DNA. EPA...
Federal Research: Information on DOE's Laboratory-Directed Research and Development Program
GAO-16-486R: Published: Apr 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 2016.
For fiscal year 2015, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) authorized Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funding limit, expressed as a percentage, was the same as the LDRD funding limit for other Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. Specifically, DOE’s LDRD policy directs NNSA and other DOE laboratories to comply with statutory limits—for fiscal year 201...
Library Services for Those with Disabilities: Additional Steps Needed to Ease Access to Services and Modernize Technology
GAO-16-355: Published: Apr 4, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 2016.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is primarily used by older adults with visual disabilities, and NLS has taken some steps to ensure eligible users' access to and awareness of available services. In fiscal year 2014, about 70 percent of the program's 430,000 users were age 60 and older and almost 85 percent had visual disabilities, according to the most re...
Data Center Consolidation: Agencies Making Progress, but Planned Savings Goals Need to Be Established [Reissued on March 4, 2016]
GAO-16-323: Published: Mar 3, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2016.
The 24 agencies participating in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative have collectively made progress on their data center closures efforts. As of November 2015, agencies identified a total of 10,584 data centers, of which they reported closing 3,125 through fiscal year 2015. Notably, the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and the Treasury accounted for 84 percent of th...
Federal Research Opportunities: DOE, DOD, and HHS Need Better Guidance for Participant Activities
GAO-16-128: Published: Jan 20, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 20, 2016.
For fiscal years 2010 through 2014, the 11 departments and other federal agencies that sponsor research participants collectively expended $776.4 million for activities carried out through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) research participation program (ORISE program). The three agencies with the highest expenditures for the program over the 5-year period were the Departme...