The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a new report that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) needs to do a better job at strengthening collaboration between Federal agencies on science and technology issues.

In its latest open priority recommendations report to OSTP, GAO added the interagency collaboration item to a small list of existing recommendations that the watchdog agency wants OSTP to take action on.

“OSTP plays a critical role in bringing agencies together under the committees and subcommittees of the [White House’s] National Science and Technology Council,” GAO said, adding that its prior work “has shown that issues in science and technology cut across multiple agencies.”

With that in mind, GAO said that two of its fresh recommendations to OSTP “call for fully implementing leading collaboration practices, such as defining and articulating a common outcome; agreeing on roles and responsibilities; and developing mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results.”

A third recommendation, GAO said, asks OSTP to “develop a plan to address data limitations for potentially critical materials.”

“For example, OSTP could work with other agencies to collect data on the quantity of materials consumed for the production of advanced technologies both in the United States and globally,” GAO said.

“By fully implementing these three recommendations, OSTP could help agencies enhance and sustain coordination on an administration’s research and development priorities as well as address cross-cutting science and technology issues,” the agency told OSTP.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.