Science and Technology:

Potential Problems That Should Be Considered in Evaluating the Experimental Technology Incentives Program

PSAD-77-132: Published: Jul 25, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 1977.


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Under the Experimental Technology Incentives Program (ETIP) of the National Bureau of Standards, studies and experiments are conducted to develop policy recommendations on how the Government can affect the rate at which the private sector innovates. Problems encountered in program performance could hinder the program's ability to meet its objectives.

In managing projects, the ETIP staff has encountered difficulties that have hampered program activities and could continue to do so in the future. The size of the present staff and its reliance on agencies to assist in conducting cooperative experiments have made it difficult to plan and conduct the desired number of experiments. Also, the effectiveness of the method being used to evaluate experiments has yet to be determined. More effective interaction is needed between ETIP personnel and Federal policymaking and policy research organizations that have similar or related objectives. More coordination and cooperation could help ETIP staff achieve the objectives of the program by improving the performance of necessary background research, enabling the staff to conduct experiments on technology policy issues and enhancing the usefulness of experiment results to policymakers.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Department of Commerce's current evaluation of the program should determine the extent to which these problems have an impact on its performance. If it is found that the program's objectives are not being achieved, then action should be taken to overcome them and/or modify the objectives.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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