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For salaries and expenses necessary to carry out the provisions of the Technology Assessment Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-684), including reception and representation expenses (not to exceed $1,500) and rental space in the District of Columbia, 189,700,000) $11,200,000: Provided, That none of the funds in this Act shall be available for salaries or expenses of any employee of the Office of Technology Assessment in excess of 30 staff employees, except that any reduction in total employment necessary to meet this limitation on employment is to be accomplished by attrition: Provided further, That this limitation shall not prevent staff appointments necessary to maintain an operating balance between professional staff skills and support staff or prevent the position of Director or Deputy Director from being filled should it become vacant. (From Congressional Operations Appropriation Act, 1979;)
(For the comprehensive evaluation of energy policy alternatives, $1,000,000, to remain available until expended, and for ten staff employees to be available for the life of the project, notwithstanding any limitation currently or hereafter imposed by law.) (From Second Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1978)
SUMMARY OF REQUEST
Congress appropriated $10,213,000 to OTA after reservation of 5% of the basic appropriation for Fiscal Year 1979. In addition, an unobligated balance of prior appropriations totaling $758,000 was continued available in 1979. A supplemental appropriation of $196,000 is requested for the latest general pay increase effective October, 1978.
OTA initially submitted an FY 1980 budget estimate totaling $12,500,000-for FY 1979. At the first OTA Board Meeting held during the 96th Congress on January 31, 1979, the OTA Board reviewed the budget submission and voted to reduce the FY 1980 budget estimate to the current level of available funds --$11,200,000--and maintain the FY 79 staff ceiling. Accordingly, the tables in this justification have been changed to reflect the Board actions. Ongoing projects and projects in planning are being reviewed by the OTA Board. Other activities included in the estimates are in various stages of preliminary
An increase between FY 1979 and FY 1980 of $454,000 is required to continue assessments initiated in prior fiscal years. The FY 1979 costs are for completion of 24 projects initiated in prior fiscal years. Most of the FY 1980 amount covers the continuation of those assessments which were begun or are scheduled to begin in FY 1979 and completion of the Alternative Energy Futures Study.
In FY 1980, $2,710,000 18 budgeted to begin work on 10 to 15 new projects, which is a decrease of $471 ,000.
An increase of $48,000 is required for general and administrative expenses, which reflects various increased operating costs caused by inflation.
The estimated obligations for FY 1978, FY 1979, and FY 1980 are compared below and explained in more detail in the following narrative.
An explanation of our requirements by object classification follows:
11.1 Permanent Positions
This classification covers the salary costs of positions which are expected to exist for periods greater than a year.
This classification includes public members of the OTA Advisory Council, members of assessment committees, panels, and individual consultants who are paid at a daily rate when actually employed. The increase in this object class provides primarily for increase in the number of assessment panels and panel meetings.
12.0 Personnel Benefits
This classification provides for required employee contributions to the Civil Service Retirement fund, group life insurance, and group health insurance.
This classification covers the cost of travel related to testimony, program operations such as monitoring technology assessment contracts, attendance at panel meetings, council hearings, and other purposes.
The FY 1980 requirements of staff for travel funds are compared to that of