A new Congressional Research Service report on the history of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) summarizes the purpose and importance of the office. Congress established OSTP in 1976 with a primary function of providing the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technology matters that require attention at the highest level of Government.
The President nominates the OSTP Director and in previous Administrations, the President has concurrently appointed the OSTP Director to the position of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST), who provides confidential advice to the President on matters of science and technology and thereby not be required to testify based on a separation of powers or executive privilege.
In the current administration, the OSTP has not had as high a priority as in the past administration. For example, this the longest period of time that OSTP has not had someone in charge. John Holdren, who was President Barack Obama’s science adviser and as the Senate-confirmed director of his OSTP, has said a “very sizable vacuum” exists.
To read about the OSTP issues that reoccur in Congress and more about its history, please download the full report here: