Foreign Technology:

U.S. Monitoring and Dissemination of the Results of Foreign Research

NSIAD-90-117: Published: Mar 21, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on federal agencies that monitor foreign technology, focusing on the: (1) coordination of monitoring activities; (2) potential for duplication or gaps in such activity; and (3) use and dissemination of the information federal agencies collect.

GAO found that: (1) the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and State, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation, and 62 units within those agencies accounted for much of the federal monitoring of foreign technology; (2) agencies monitored foreign technology developments to support their differing missions, but the lack of coordination and a central government source among the agencies created the potential for agencies to collect duplicative information; and (3) without a central source, it was difficult to assess whether federal agencies monitored all significant development, which created information gaps within and between agencies. GAO also found that accessing foreign technical information collected by the government was limited by a number of obstacles, including differing computer requirements and commingled restricted and unrestricted information.

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