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

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-03-21.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                       ITnited   States   General   Accountiug   Office
                       Report to t,he Chairman, Subcommittee 4
    GAO                on Technology and National Security,
                       Joint Economic Committee: U.S.

    March   1990
                       U.S. Monitoring and
                       Dissemination of the
                       Results of Foreign


National !3ecurity and
International Affairs Division

March 21,199O
The Honorable Jeff Bingaman
Chairman, Subcommittee on Technology
  and National Security
Joint Economic Committee
Congressof the United States

Dear Senator Bingaman:
This report responds to your request that we provide information on the major federal
Departments and independent agenciesthat monitor foreign technology. As you requested,it
also addressesthe coordination of monitoring activities, the potential for duplication or gaps
in such activity, and the use and dissemination of the information these agenciescollect. This
report does not include intelligence gathering involving the capability of potential U.S.
adversaries, in keeping with your request for an unclassified report.

As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announceits contents earlier, we plan no
further distribution of this report until 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time we
will send copies to interested parties and make copies available to others upon request.

Pleasecontact me at (202) 276-4812 if you or your staff have any questions concerning the
report. Other major contributors to this report are listed in appendix II.


Allan I. Mendelowitz, Director
Trade, Energy, and Finance Issues

Executive Summary

                  The Chairman of the Subcommitteeon Technology and National Secur-
                  ity, Joint Economic Committee, asked GAO to develop a compendium of
                  federal programs and activities that monitor foreign dual-use technolo-
                  gies-items that have both commercial and military use.GAO agreed
                  with the Chairman’s office to provide information on the leading federal
                  Departments and independent agenciesthat monitor foreign technology
                  and summarize their monitoring efforts. GAO'S specific objectives were tc
                  (1) assessthe coordination of monitoring activities, (2) identify duplica-
                  tion or gaps in the technologiesmonitored, and (3) examine the use and
                  dissemination of the information collected. .

                  Scientific research information is being generated throughout the world.
Background        The United States, Japan, and Europe invest billions of dollars in
                  research and development. Becauseresearch is so important to U.S.
                  competitiveness, the United States must be aware of foreign research

                  Federal monitoring activities range from the collection of raw data to
                  the development of highly detailed foreign capability analyses.The
                  result of this monitoring activity is important for enhancing scientific
                  research and policy formulation.

                  GAO identified a total of six Departments and independent agenciesthat
Resultsin Brief   account for much of the current monitoring. Within these agencies,GAO
                  identified 62 federal civilian and military agency offices and divisions
                  that monitor foreign technology.

                  There is no central source identifying all monitoring activity, and coordi-
                  nation among monitoring agenciesis limited. This creates the potential
                  both for duplication of monitoring efforts and gaps in monitoring
                  Federal monitoring produces substantial information that would be ben-
                  eficial to researchers,program manager%,and policymakers in other fed-
                  eral agenciesand in private industry. However, there are several factors
                  that hamper dissemination of this information, including different hard-
                  ware and software requirements to accessdatabases,diverse foreign
                  country copyright laws, and limited resourcesfor translating documents
                  into English. Several possibilities may be available for improving access
                  to monitoring information, specifically, a computer concept called gate-
                  ways, and a database of experts.

                   Page 2                                     G.4O/NSlAD-2%117For&n TecJmolqm


Many Agencies Monitor     GAO found  that the Departments of Commerce,Defense,Energy, and
                          State, the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration, and the
Foreign Technology        National ScienceFoundation account for much of the federal monitoring
                          of foreign technology. Within these 6 agencies,GAO identified 62 federal
                          civilian and military offices and divisions that monitor foreign technol-
                          ogy. GAO'S review did not include the Central Intelligence Agency
                          becauseit declined to cooperate.

Coordination Is Limited   GAO could find no central list of agenciesthat monitor foreign technology
                          and so it developed its own by contacting various agenciesindividually.
                          GAO found that generally agenciesmonitor foreign technology develop-
                          ments to support their differing missions, which range from monitoring
                          scientific research to assessingnational competitiveness.GAO alsO found
                          that coordination among monitoring agenciesis limited and therefore
                          may create the potential for agenciesto collect similar information.
                          Moreover, becausethere is no central source,it is not possible to assess
                          whether federal agenciesmonitor all potentially significant technologies.
                          This situation presents an opportunity for gaps to occur in monitoring
                          coverage;thus the U.S. may miss important developments.

Obstaclesto Accessing     GAO identified a number of sourcesfor foreign technical information col-
                          lected by the government. Someof the information collected was availa-
Information               ble in sevendifferent databasesand in a number of agencies’internal
                          files. Although more of this information could be made available to
                          other agenciesand the public, accessto it is limited by a number of
                          obstacles,including differing computer requirements and commingled
                          restricted and unrestricted information. Improved accesscould enhance
                          the dissemination of foreign technology information that the govem-
                          ment develops.
                          Efforts have been made to improve accessto this information in the past
                          and several are underway now. A 1960seffort to coordinate agency sci-
                          entific and technical information servicesceasedbecauseof lack of sup
                          port in the early 1970s.Although modest in scopeand limited in
                          resources,several efforts are underway today to improve access.

                  Executive Summery

                  Technological advancesin accessingand retrieving computerized infor-
                  mation may allow improved retrieval of foreign technical information
                  now available in different agencies.These new approaches,with which
                  someagenciesare currently experimenting, are called gateways. They
                  are attempts to electronically connect information systems that have
                  different database structures, hardware, and software. To accessinfor-
                  mation that is currently kept in informal files, it may also be possibleto
                  develop databases containing information on subject area experts. These
                  databasesmay include their names,fields of expertise, and addresses.

                  GAO is making  no recommendationsat this time pending the results of
Recommendations   ongoing efforts and research to improve accessto the information the
                  government collects.

                  As agreed with the Chairman’s office, GAO did not obtain written agency
Agency Comments   comments on this report, but throughout the review discussedthese
                  issueswith agency officials and have incorporated their comments
                  where appropriate.


                  P8ge 1                                     GAO/-N-117     Foreign Technology
Page 6   GAo/NBuDgoll7   Foreign Technology

Executive Summary
Chapter 1                                                                                     8
Introduction           The Widespread Generation of Scientific Information
                       Three Levels of Monitoring Activity
                       Objectives,Scope,and Methodology                                      10

Chapter 2                                                                                    13
Federal Civilian and   Federal Agencies Monitor Foreign Technology for a
                           Variety of Reasons
Military Agency        Six Federal Agencies Do Much of the Monitoring                        14
Efforts to Monitor     Coordination of Monitoring Efforts Is Limited                         15
Foreign Scienceand     Gaps in Technology CoverageMay Exist but Are Difficult                16
                            to Identify
Chapter 3                                                                                    17
Improved Accessto      Sourcesof Foreign Technology Information Available
                       Obstaclesto AccessingAvailable Information
the Information That   Past and Current Efforts to Improve Accessto Available                22
Federal Agencies           Information
Collect Is Reeded      Opportunities Exist to Improve Accessto Foreign                       25
                           Technical Information
                       Conclusions                                                           26

Appendixes             Appendix I: Description of Federal Agency Monitoring                  28
                       Appendix II: Major Contributors to This Report                        36

Tables                 Table 3.1: Databasesof Information on Foreign                          18
                       Table 3.2: SelectedAgencies With Files of Foreign                      19
                           Scientific and Technical Information

                       Page 6                                   GAO/?MAD~ll7    Fort&n Technology

Assm      AssessmentSystem for European Technology and Science
          Committee on Scienceand Technical Information
DOD       Department of Defense
DTIC      DefenseTechnical Information Center
GAO       General Accounting Office
ITA       International Trade Administration
NASA      National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration
NSF       National ScienceFoundation
          National Technical Information Service
          Office of JapaneseTechnical Literature
OSTP      Office of Scienceand Technology Policy
STRIDE    Scientific and Technical Reporting Information Dissemination

p-7                                      GAO/N-117      Fore@nTechnology
Chapter 1


                         Scientific research contributes to a healthy economy, a strong industrial
                         base, and the general welfare of U.S. citizens. The federal government
                         and private industry sponsor and conduct research programs to accom-
                         plish these objectives. They also collect scientific and technical informa-
                         tion developed by other nations. Accessto foreign scientific and
                         technical information can help advancebasic research,improve policy
                         formulation, and contribute to the competitivenessof American

                         Scientific research information is being generated throughout the world.
The Widespread           The United States, European nations, and Japan invest billions of dol-
Generationof             lars in scientific research annually. In 1986, total U.S. expenditures
Scientific Information   reached more than $98 billion in constant 1982 dollars. Japan and the
                         major industrialized European countries have also made strong commit-
                         ments to research, In 1986, the combined expenditures of Japan, France.
                         West Germany, and the United Kingdom equaled over $82 billion in con-
                         stant 1982 dollars.
                         Becausescientific research is so important to U.S. competitiveness,the
                         United States must be aware of foreign scientific and technical research
                         activity. In 1986, the last year for which data are available, about
                         64 percent of scientific and technical articles were written by authors
                         outside the United States. Accessto this information allows government
                         and industry to avoid unnecessaryduplication, benefit from existing
                         lmowledge, and accurately assessother countries’ technical capabilities.

                         Scientific progress is often incremental-one bit of research building
                         upon another. For this reason, scientific research advancesmore rapidly
                         when data are shared internationally. Open communication allows for-
                         eign research to be assessed,reanalyzed, replicated, and incorporated
                         into ongoing research and production. Without accessto foreign scien-
                         titic and technical information, U.S. scientists, industrialists, and policy-
                         makers could fiid themselvesat a competitive disadvantage.

                         Individual U.S. government agenciesmonitor foreign scientific and tech-
 Three Levels of         nical information differently, reflecting their missions and responsibili-
 Monitoring Activity     ties. Someefforts are limited to the collection and dissemination of basic
                         research data, while others involve the development of detailed foreign
                         capability analyses.

                          Page 8                                      GAO/Nk3LADB&117
                                                                                    Foreign Ttchnology
             chapter 1

Collection   At the primary level, government monitoring involves collecting and dis-
             seminating data, drawings, and researchfindings. U.S. agenciesobtain
             this information through formal and informal methods.
             The National Technical Information Service(NTIS) and the DefenseTech-
             nical Information Center (rmc) are two agenciesthat collect foreign
             research data, acquiring technical reports through formal international
             exchangeagreementsand cooperative relationships with other organiza-
             tions. The NTIS collection includes about 2 million reports. Approxi-
             mately one-third of the reports that have been added in the past 5 years
             include foreign technical information. DTIC’S technical report collection
             includes approximately 1.5 million publications, between 7 to 10 percent
             of which represent foreign technical information. Other federal agencies
             also collect foreign scientific and technical information by monitoring
             scientific journals and databasesand supporting joint researchefforts.
              In addition to these formal collection efforts, individual researcherscol-
              lect information through informal exchangeswith foreign scientists.
              This type of information may be recorded in travel reports and internal
              agency records. In other casesit may not be captured at all.

Collation     At a secondary level, someagenciesindex and abstract foreign technical
              publications, facilitating accessto the information. Electronic filesallow
              scientists and others to combine material on a single topic from various
              sourcesand nations. Agencies also publish newsletters covering recent
              scientific developments. The bibliographies and newsletters that these
              agenciesproduce inform scientists and others of technical activities in
              their fields and geographic areasof interest.
               Several federal agencieshave constructed computer files for collation
               and synthesis. NTISproduces a computerized databasethat indexes and
               abstracts reports, journal articles, and conferenceproceedingsincluded
               in the NTIScollection. DTICmaintains its own Technical Report Database
               that allows the production of bibliographies basedon the needs of MIC
               users. The mm Information Analysis Centers’ computerized files con-
               tain current international research information and synthesize this
               information in selectedsubject areas.
               Individual agency offices and units have also undertaken projects to
               meet particular needs.For example, the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval
               ResearchEuropean Office maintains a databasethat provides accessto
               reports, articles, and contact points relevant to European scienceand

               Page 9                                     GAO/N!SIAD4@117Fortign Ttchnology
                       Chapter 1

                       technology. Similarly, the Air Force’sForeign Technology Division has
                       developed a databaseto report the use or appearanceof certain technol-
                       ogies in the Eastern Bloc countries.

Analysis               At the highest level of information processing,U.S. agenciesanalyze for-
                       eign scientific and technical information. Specialists review data from
                       many sourcesto answer questions of scientific or strategic interest.
                       These efforts produce reports and briefing materials used to assessthe
                       scientific resourcesand capabilities of foreign nations. For example, the
                       DefenseIntelligence Agency has developed an automated system that
                       measureslevels of foreign scientific knowledge and comparesthese to
                       current levels of U.S. technical accomplishment.

                       In an April  10,1989, letter, the Chairman of the Subcommitteeon Tech-
Objectives,Scope,and   nology and National Security, Joint EconomicCommittee, asked us to
Methodology            develop a compendium of federal programs and activities that track, or
                       monitor, foreign dual-use technology, i.e., items that have both commer-
                       cial and military use. We initially provided the Chairman with an
                       interim report that listed a number of federal agenciesmonitoring for-
                       eign dual-use technology (Foreign Technologies:Federal Agencies’
                       Efforts to Track Developments,GAomuD-89-192, June 1989). Subse-
                       quently, we agreed with the Chairman’s office to limit the final compen-
                       dium to the leading federal departments and independent agenciesthat
                       monitor foreign technology and summarize their monitoring activities.
                       We further agreedto focus our efforts on the coordination of monitoring
                       activities, the identification of duplication or gaps in the technologies
                       monitored, and the use and dissemination of information collected.
                       (Becausescientific research is a key element of technological develop
                       ment, we refer to scientific and technological research interchangeably.)
                        To identify federal programs and activities that monitor foreign technol-
                        ogy, we contacted officials of agenciesthat we knew from prior audit
                        work were the leading agenciesin monitoring foreign technology. These
                        officials identified other monitoring agencies.Basedon our prior work,
                        we focused our efforts on the Departments of Commerce,Defense,
                        Energy, and State, the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration
                        (NASA), and the National ScienceFoundation (NSF).

                        We contacted each of these agenciesand requestedthat they complete a
                        data collection form on their agency units that monitor foreign technol-
                        ogy. For each agency unit we sought information on the technologies

                        Page 10                                   GAO/NHAD4&117 Fortign Technoloey
they monitor, the countries they follow in that monitoring, how they use
that information, the resourcesthey devote to monitoring, and the avail-
ability of the information they collect to others outside their agency.
This information is summarized in the body of the report and provided
in greater detail in appendix I. We did not attempt to assessthe quality
of the information these agenciesgather through their monitoring
We asked officials of the 62 monitoring offices we identified in develop
ing the compendium to respond to questions on their coordination activi-
ties. We then reviewed and summarized the responses.We also discussed
coordination with an official of the Office of Managementand Budget
and a contractor working on technology monitoring under contract to
the DefenseAdvanced ResearchProject Agency. Becausewe could find
no listing of all federal monitoring activities, we were not able to assess
whether there are any technologiesthat are not being monitored by the
government. We were able to analyze the information on what technolo-
gies are monitored to ascertain how extensively different agencies
review the sametechnologies.However, becausedifferent agenciesuse
the information they co&c%for different purposes,we could not draw
 any conclusionsabout whether multiple agency monitoring of the same
 technologies constituted unnecessaryduplication.

Prom officials of each monitoring agency we gathered information’on
the usesof the data they collected and the data’s availability outside
their unit. We held extensive discussionswith a number of officials in
the monitoring units within the six agenciesand in the White House’s
Office of Scienceand Technology Policy about the accessibility of the
information the government collects. Basedon these discussionsand a
review of past and current efforts to improve such accessibility, we
were able to develop information on obstaclesto accessinginformation
and federal efforts to improve access.
We did not include intelligence gathering involving the capability of
potential U.S. adversaries, in keeping with the Chairman’s request for
an unclassified report. As a separate matter, we attempted to include
the Central Intelligence Agency, but it declined to cooperatein this

 We conducted our work between May 1989 and January 1990 in accord-
 ance with generally acceptedgovernment auditing standards. As agreed
 with the Chairman’s office, we did not obtain written agency comments,


 Page 11                                    GAO/NgIAD43@117Foreign Technology
Clmpter 1

but throughout the review discussedthese issueswith agencyofficials
and have incorporated their commentswhere appropriate.

  Page 12                                GAO/NSIAD4J@117
                                                       Foreign Technology
Chapter 2

Federal Civilian and Military Agency Efforts to
Monitor Foreign Scienceand Technology

                     Sixty-two federal military and civilian agency units, responding to our
                     questionnaire, indicated that they monitor information on foreign tech-
                     nology. Somehave specific statutory authority for such monitoring.
                     Others, while not specifically directed to monitor foreign technology, do
                     so as part of a broader agency mission. Many U.S. agencies-most nota-
                     bly the Departments of Defense,Commerce,and Energy-monitor for-
                     eign technology to enhanceU.S. competitivenessand to formulate trade
                     and defensepolicy. Despite this extensive monitoring, we could find no
                     central source identifying all such activity. Our review also indicated
                     that coordination was limited. This createsthe potential both for dupli-
                     cation of effort and for gaps in coverage.

                     Agencies monitor foreign scientific and technical developmentsfor a
Federal Agencies     variety of reasons.These include responding to a specific legislative
Monitor Foreign      mandate, meeting a program objective, and collecting information inci-
Technology for a     dental to their primary mission.
Variety of Reasons   Legislatively mandated monitoring activities include both civilian and
                     defenseprograms. For example, the Department of Commerce’sJapa-
                     neseTechnical Literature Program is required by the JapaneseTechni-
                     cal Literature Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-382). The program was created to
                     acquire, translate, and disseminate Japanesetechnical literature. The
                     Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended,assignedto the Depart-
                     ment of Defensethe responsibility for defining critical technologiesand
                     requires that Defensegive special emphasis to products that include
                     technologies not possessedby countries that are the target of U.S.
                     export controls. This in turn requires knowledge of the technological
                     capabilities of such countries.
                     Other monitoring activities are the result of program objectives. For
                     example, NTIShas a foreign technology program whose objective is to
                     acquire technical information produced as a result of foreign govem-
                     men&sponsoredresearch and to disseminate it to the U.S. research and
                     development community.

                     Finally, some agenciesmonitor foreign scientific and technological
                     developments incidental to their agency’sprincipal mission. For exam-
                     ple, the primary mission of Commerce’sNational Institute of Standards
                     and Technology is measurement and standards in the United States, but
                     the Institute’s technical staff keep abreast of foreign developments in
                     their disciplines.

                      Page 13                                    GAO/NL4D-~117 Fortign Technolol(y
Six Federal Agencies   excluding the Central Intelligence Agency, accountedfor most of the for-
Do Much of the         eign technology monitoring. These agenciesare the Departments of Com-
Monitoring             merce, Defense,Energy, and State, NASA, and NSF. Appendix I contains
                       specific information on the activities of each of these entities.

The Department of      Commercehas several agenciesthat monitor foreign technology devel-
Commerce               opments. These include NTIS,the Bureau of Export Administration, and
                       the International Trade Administration (ITA).
                       NTIScollects foreign technical information and makes it available to the
                       general public, private industry, researchers,and other federal agencies.
                       The information is used to support research, industry planning, domes-
                       tic policy formulation, and the foreign technology monitoring efforts of
                       other federal agencies.

                       The Bureau of Export Administration monitors foreign technology to
                       identify U.S. export controls rendered ineffective by the availability of
                       foreign comparable commodities and to ensure the competitivenessof
                       U.S. high technology firms in world markets. Monitoring is global, and
                       the reports and studies prepared are generally available to other federal
                       agencieson a need-to-know basis.

                       ITAunits globally monitor specific foreign technologies,such as
                       microelectronics, telecommunications, and industrial machinery. Infor-
                       mation is used for such purposes as trade policy development and com-
                       petitive assessments.

The Department of      DOD has many  componentsthat monitor foreign technology, including
Defense (DOD)          the DefenseLogistics Agency’s DefenseTechnical Information Center
                       and the DefenseIntelligence Agency. Other monitoring takes place at the
                       three services(the Army, Navy, and Air Force).
                       DTIC serves as the central collection and distribution point for scientific
                       and technical information produced under the DOD'S research and devel-
                       opment effort. DTICcolIects and disseminatesforeign technology infor-
                       mation through international exchangeagreements.DTICalso
                       administers information analysis centers that acquire, analyze, and sum-
                       marize foreign technology data in specializedsubject areas.



                                 The DefenseIntelligence Agency monitors foreign technology develop-
                                 ments. This information contributes to improving military industrial
                                 competitiveness and to providing planning information to other govem-
                                 ment agenciesand private industry. Monitoring is global and focuseson
                                 specific foreign technology of strategic interest to DOD.
                                 At the service level, the Army’s European ResearchOffice monitors for-
                                 eign technology to identify and transfer technologiesto appropriate
                                 Army research labs. The Navy’s Office of Naval Researchmonitors for-
                                 eign technology on a global basis, as doesthe Air Force’sForeign Tech-
                                 nology Division.

The Department of Energy Scientists and technicians at research laboratories of the Department of
                                 Energy monitor foreign scientific and technical information in energy-
                                 related areas. They monitor countries with significant technical abilities
                                 in nuclear weapons, high-energy lasers, composite materials, supercom-
                                 puter technology, and nuclear reactor technology. Information is used to
                                 support strategic planning for national security.

The Department of State          Scienceofficers at embassiesthroughout the world monitor technology
                                 developments. The information is sent to government agenciesfor their
                                 use in monitoring foreign scientific and technical developments.

The National Aeronautics         NASA monitors  foreign technology on a global basis and maintains a com-
and SpaceAdministration          prehensive information system covering aeronautics and supporting

The National Science             NSF monitors foreign technology to disseminate information on intema-
Foundation                       tional scienceand technology. NSF maintains an office in Japan where it
                                 acquires and analyzes Japanesescienceand technology policy informa-
                                 tion and promotes international scientific cooperation.

Coordination of                  In our June 1989 report on federal monitoring of foreign technologies
                                 (Foreign Technologies:Federal Agencies’ Efforts to Track Develop-
Monitoring Efforts Is            ments, GAO/NSLAD-W192), we reported that we could find no central
Limited                          source that identifies all federal monitoring activities. In our subsequent
                                 work, including review of databases,numerous discussionswith agency
                                 officials, and contacts with 62 units within 6 major agencies,we have

                                 Page15                                      GAO/NSIAD-W117FortignTtchnology
                       Chapter 2
                       to Monitor Fore@ sdence and Technology

                       continued to find no such central source and have concluded that none
                       We further stated in our earlier report that there was an apparent lack
                       of formal coordination among agenciesthat monitor foreign technology.
                       We subsequently contacted the 62 offices, bureaus, and divisions we had
                       previously identified as monitoring foreign technology in the 6 major
                       monitoring agencies.Our aim was to inquire about their coordination
                       efforts. Of the 21 out of 62 responding to this query, 7 said that they did
                       not coordinate their efforts with others; 9 said that they coordinated
                       with at least 1 other agency; and 5 did not addresscoordination. For
                       example, Army, Air Force, and Navy researchersshared information
                       and technology tracking duties regarding Japanesetechnologies.How-
                       ever, a DTICofficial in a draft agency report indicated that although
                       many DOD organizations produce, collect, store, or distribute foreign sci-
                       enceand technology information and certain agenciesstart programs to
                       enhancethe use of such information, no central DOD entity coordinates
                       foreign technology monitoring. According to this official, DOD should
                       establish a focal point for coordinating foreign scienceand technology
                       monitoring programs.

                        While coordination is limited, there may be only limited resulting dupli-
                        cation of monitoring effort. We found that while numerous agencies
                        monitor foreign technology developments,they do so within a limited
                        subject range determined by their individual needs;therefore, subjects
                        may be so specific as to exclude duplication. Nevertheless,the absence
                        of a central government source identifying all monitoring efforts and the
                        limited coordination among monitoring agenciescreate the potential for
                        duplication of efforts to take place.

                        Becausethere is no central source that identifies all federal monitoring
Gapsin Technology       activities and becausetechnologiescontain a myriad of components
CoverageMay Exist       (such as the dozensof steps involved in computer chip manufacturing,
but Are Difficult to    each of which embodiesits own set of technologies),it is difficult to
                        assesswhether federal agenciesmonitor all potentially significant tech-
Identify                nologies. Current federal monitoring also suffers from limited coordina-
                        tion -amongagencies.This creates the potential for information gaps
                        between agencies.

                        Page 16                                    GAO/NSUD4Ml7    Fore&n Technology
Improved Accessto the Idormation That
Federal AgenciesCollect Is Needed

                        The foreign scientific and technical information that the government
                        now collects could be better used if accessto it was improved. However,
                        certain obstaclesnow hamper access.These include different computer
                        requirements for accessingagency databases,commingled classified and
                        unclassified information, as well as public and proprietary information,
                        and limited language translation capability.
                        Previous efforts have been made to improve access,and new onesare
                        underway; the present efforts, however, are limited in scope.Technolog-
                        ical improvements now exist that may improve the ability to access
                        existing information. Several knowledgeable sourcesbelieve the time
                        may be appropriate to consider reestablishing an information point that
                        is centrally accessible.

                        We identified two different data systems for maintaining information
Sourcesof Foreign       that the agencieswe contacted generate.One is automated databases.
Technology              The other is written agency and individual (personal) files.
Information Available

Automated Databases     Several agenciesmaintain computerized databasesthat index and
                        abstract reports and other information. These files are information sum-
                        maries, organized and structured so that a variety of users’ needscan be
                        met. We were able to identify sevensuch automated databaseefforts.
                        Table 3.1 contains a description of each.

                        Page 17                                   GAO/NSIAIMO417 Fort&n Te-chnology

Tablo 3.1: Databases of Information on
Foreign Technology                                                                                          Accouibillty     by out&da
                                         Aaoncv and databau               Two of information                aaencv
                                         Defense lntelli ence Agency,     Assessments of selected           DOD only
                                         Project SOCR it TES              forei n technological
                                                                          capa %.-My
                                         Department of Energy’s           Foreign abstracts and             Available to the public
                                         Energy Database                  Indexes of energy related         through commercral vendors
                                         DTIC, Defense Research,          Four major databases with         Classified DOD reports are
                                         Development, Test, and           summary descriptions or           available only through DTIC
                                         Evaluation Online System         references to planned,
                                         Database Network                 ongoing, completed, and
                                                                           independent research and
                                         NASA, Scientific Technical        Comprehensive scientific,        Available directly from NASA
                                         Information Database              engineering, and technical       and through commercial
                                                                           information with bibliographic   vendors
                                                                           coverage of world aerospace
                                         NSF, International Science        Data by industry                 Data directly available to the
                                         and Technology Database           classification (e.g., drugs,     public. There is no other
                                                                           electrical machinery) for U.S.   database similar in content
                                                                           patents, trade, by country       and time series.
                                         NSF, United States-Japan          Scientific journals, books,      Available to the public
                                         Cooperative Science                and proceedings of              through NTIS
                                         Program Database                   professional societies
                                                                           addressing a variety of
                                         NTIS, Bibliographic   Database     Research results, studies,      Available to the public
                                                                            directories, handbooks,         through commercial vendors
                                                                            conference presentations,
                                                                            and proceedings covering a
                                                                            wide range of topics in
                                                                            natural and behavioral

Agency and Individual                     Considerable information on foreign scientific and technological devel-
Files                                     opments are contained in agency files. These include formal files that
                                          contain reports assessingforeign technology as well as informal files
                                          maintained by researchersand analysts. We identified a number of both
                                          formal and informal agency files, someof which are listed in table 3.2.

                                          Ptgt 18                                                  GAO/NW117               Porni@ Technology
Table 3.2: Selected Agencks With FIIOS
of Foreign Scientific and Technical                                                                     Accessibility by outside
                                         Agency                         Type of Information           agency
                                         Department of State, Science   Any data on scientific and    Available to interested
                                         Officers                       technological developments    federal agencies; InformatIon
                                                                                                      available to the publrc (some
                                                                                                      through NTIS)
                                         Department of Commerce,        Assessments of foreign        Malority of information IS
                                         Bureau of Export               technological capability      classified and not available to
                                         Adminrstration                                               the public
                                         Department of Commerce,        Capability and developments    Most materials available to
                                         International Trade            in various technical areas,    the public. Some of these
                                         Administration                 such as electronics            materials for secunty reasons
                                                                                                       are restricted.
                                         Department of Commerce,        Journal publications and data Available to interested oartres
                                         National Institute of          developed through joint
                                         Standards and Technology       scientific exchanges covering
                                                                        a variety of technrcal topics
                                         DOD, Air Force Systems         Aerospace scientific and       Available to DOD and DOD
                                         Command’s Foreign              technical intelligence         contractors with public
                                         Technoloav Division                                           access limited
                                         DOD, Army Forei n Science       Developments in military      Available to the intelligence
                                         and Technology L!enter          material and hardware         community: some documents
                                                                                                       are later released bv DTIC
                                         DOD-various service             Developments in technology     Availability varies with the
                                         laboratories                    relevant to each individual    information and laboratory
                                                                         lab’s specialty                involved
                                         Department of Energy            Developments in technology     Most of this matenal is
                                         Laboratories                    relevant to energy issues      classified. Limited to internal
                                                                                                        Energyunits and some to
                                                                                                        other selected aaencres
                                         NSF, Japanese Technical         Technical assessments of       Published reports available to
                                         Evaluation Center               emerging Japanese trends in the public
                                                                         selected high technology

                                         The material these files contain is tailored to a specific audience,such as
                                         agency program managers.Someof this information is available to the
                                         public, while other information is only available to selectedfederal
                                         agenciesor through individual contacts.

                                         Regarding informal files, we found at least somegovernment scientists,
                                         researchers,and analysts keep data in personal files, usually organized
                                         and structured to meet their individual needs.This information includes
                                         clippings, notes, reports, and articles relevant to their field of study that
                                         is accumulated from numerous sources.For example, researchersmay
                                         rely on collegial relationships and professional contacts to learn about
                                         what is being done in other countries. They visit foreign researchersand
                                         record their observations in trip reports. They attend formal scientific
                                         meetings and exchange ideas informally, recording this information in

                                         Prge 19                                               GAO/N-117            Foreign Technology
                           clupttr 3
                           rmproval Aecu    t4l the Infomldon   Tlut
                           Fedtnl Agtndta   Cdltct b Ntaltd

                           personal notes. They also collect information contained in foreign jour-
                           nals and magazinesand unpublished research reports. We could not
                           determine the amount or importance of data stored in personal files.

                           Key officials in five of the six agencieswe visited stated that they
Obstaclesto Accessing      believed foreign technological information available in federal agencies
Available Information      would help scientists, researchers,program managers,and policymakers
                           in other federal agenciesand individuals in academia and private indus-
                           try. However, there are several obstaclesto accessingthis information.
                           These obstaclesinclude differing computer requirements for accessing
                           the different databases,the inclusion of classified and unclassified
                           information in the samedatabase,and limited translation capability.

Differing Computer         A key obstacle to accessingforeign scienceand technical databasessuch
                           as those listed in table 3.1 is their differing computer requirements.
Requirements               Each database was produced for a different purpose, and the agencies
                           use a variety of computer hardware and software combinations to main-
                           tain the database flies. Although each databasesystem can be searched
                           individually, it is not possible to accessthe databasessimultaneously. If
                           users need to retrieve information on a specific topic from several of
                           these databases,they must know the location of each database file and
                           the routines required to accesseach database.

                            Each database operates independently, and between them they use a
                            variety of hardware, (i.e., computer equipment), software (i.e., instruc-
                            tions by which the computer performs its tasks), and accesstechniques.
                            Lacking a common mechanismthat would allow “talk ” between the var-
                            ious systems, a user must arrange for accesswith each agency or ven-
                            dor, learn the databasestructure of each file, becomefamiliar with the
                            query language neededto accesseach database,and run different
                            searcheson each to retrieve information on one technical subject. For
                            example, the techniques used to accessand search DTIC’S Defense
                            Research,Development, Test, and Evaluation Online System cannot be
                            used with the NSF’S International Scienceand Technology Division

Combining Classified and    Classification of sensitive data is required to protect national security
Unclassified Information    interests. Several of the databaseswe identified as monitoring foreign
                            technology information contain classified as well as unclassified data.
                            Databasesthat combine classified and unclassified data present special

                            Page 20                                    GAO/N?3IADB@117
                                                                                     Foreign Ttchnology
                          cluptm 3
                          lmprovtd   Acetam to the Informdon   That
                          Fedtnl&tntiet     Cdltct b Nttdtd

                          accessproblems. The presenceof classified information in a database
                          requires that user accessbe limited, even when the bulk of the informa-
                          tion in the databasecould be made available to the public. For example,
                          the DefenseIntelligence Agency’s Project Socrates’entire databaseis
                          classified, although much of the information in the system is not classi-
                          fied and could be made available to wider groups of users.
                          When databasescontain both classified and unclassified information,
                          accessis limited to people with appropriate security clearances.While it
                          may be possible to separate the classified and unclassified information
                          and so allow broader accessto the unclassified portion, there is no gen-
                          eral solution to the multilevel security problem and no current system
                          that will guarantee the separation of classified and unclassified infor-
                          mation. Multiple level security, which involves segregatingclassified
                          from unclassified data and controlling access,is the subject of ongoing
                          research. Combinations of physical, administrative, and technical
                          approachesmay provide opportunities for greater accessto unclassified

Proprietary Information   Proprietary designations also limit access.Proprietary data are materi-
                          als the private entity that provides the data considers businesssensi-
                          tive. We identified two problems in attempting to access information
                          that carries a proprietary label.

                          One problem is that the mere presenceof proprietary information in a
                          database can limit accessto information that is nonproprietary, thereby
                          restricting its availability to a wider range of users. DOD’S Information
                          Analysis Centers are examples of databasesthat cannot be freely
                          accessedbecausethey contain someproprietary information. Each
                          Center operates much the sameway but specializesin a different sub-
                          ject. Each Center collects, analyzes, summarizes, and stores available
                           information on highly specializedtechnical subjects. The collections are
                          computerized to facilitate access,but include proprietary mformation,
                           which limits access.
                          A secondrelated problem, according to a DTICofficial, is that inforrna-
                          tion in databasesis not always clearly marked as to what is proprietary.
                          As a result, delays of up to 2 weeks can occur when users request infor-
                          mation becauseof the need to clarify its status. For example, a requester
                          could wait 2 weeks only to learn that the requested information was not
                          proprietary. Conversely, somedatabasesare not labelled as restricted,
                          but requests for certain data are rejected becausethose data are labeled

                           Page 21                                    GAO/NS-117     Foreign Technology
                         Ftdtrai &tmdtt Cdltct b Nttdtd

                         “US. Government Use Only.” Such labelling occurs becausethe foreign
                         data were either proprietary or copyrighted. As a result, requests for
                         such information are burdensomeand time consuming. In these
                         instances,the requester normally does not follow up becauseof the
                         paperwork involved and the time it takes to obtain the information.

Foreign Copyright Laws   Copyright laws also present accessproblems to users. A 1988 Depart-
                         ment of Commercereport on federal efforts to obtain Japanesescientific
                         and technical information noted that all material published in Japan,
                         including government publications, is consideredcopyrighted regardless
                         of whether it contains a copyrighted statement. Permission to reproduce
                         this material is obtainable only after a lengthy approval processinvolv-
                         ing multiple layers of authority. NTIS has been able to alleviate this diffi-
                         culty largely by negotiating blanket copyright releaseswith about 40
                         organizations with which it has acquisition agreements.However, copy-
                         right issuesare still a barrier when NTBwishes to obtain published
                         material from a Japaneseentity not covered under an acquisition agree-
                         ment, According to NTIS’Deputy Director, copyright laws also limit WI-IS’
                         accessto information in countries other than Japan.

Foreign Lanlguage        According to the head of the MW’S Information Systems and Standards
Translation              Division, the translation of foreign documents is a major barrier to the
                         exchangeof technological information. He specifically cited the cost of
                         translating documents and the lack of a sufficient number of people
                         with both the technical and language skills required to do such work.
                         Also, with respect to Japan, according to the previously mentioned Com-
                         merce report there are few federal agencieswith staff who are profi-
                         cient in translating Japanesetechnical literature. As a result, translators
                         are so overwhelmed that much information doesnot get translated

                          The federal government has made prior efforts to collect and dissemi-
Past and-Current          nate foreign technical information; it presently has efforts underway,
Efforts to Improve        including a pilot project to do so. Those prior efforts did not produce a
Accessto Available        comprehensivesystem for collecting and disseminating this information,
                          however, becausesupport declined. The current efforts have somewhat
Information               improved accessto information but are limited in scope or in the early
                          stagesof development.

                          Ptgt 22                                     GAO/IBLADWll7   For&n Technology
                  Illlplwai   Acttw to the lnform8tioIl   Th8t

Past Efforts      Efforts to coordinate technical information can be traced back to the
                  1960s.In 1962, responding to a growing concernover managementprob-
                  lems and diffusion of information created by the rapid growth of scien-
                  tific and technical activities, the Federal Council on Scienceand
                  Technology Policy established the Committee on Scienceand Technical
                  Information (c0sAn). CosATI’sfunctions were to (1) coordinate agency
                  scientific and technical information services,(2) examine interrelation-
                  ships between existing information services,both in and outside the gov-
                  ernment, and identify gaps or unnecessaryoverlaps, and (3) develop
                  governmentwide standards and comparability amongsystems.COSATI
                  membersrepresented 12 of the largest scientific and technical informa-
                  tion producer and user agenciesof the government. COSATI     encouraged
                  voluntary coordination of U.S. scientific and technical activities abroad
                  and collection of foreign technical information. According to a former
                  CUSATI  Chairman, sharing of foreign technology information among par-
                  ticipating federal agencieswas encouragedbut not required and distri-
                  bution was not monitored. The former Chairman stated that information
                   was presumed to be shared.

                  According to the former K&UY Chairman, in 1972,the White House
                  Office of Scienceand Technology Policy’s (0s~~)Director, acting on sug-
                  gestions made in an NSF advisory report, transferred the leadership of
                  COSATI to NSF as a managementimprovement. The former Chairman also
                  said that CUSATI’S effectiveness as a coordinator of federal collection
                  efforts had been restricted becauseof the lack of support by NSF.
                  Becauseso much time has elapsedsince this transfer occurred, we were
                  unable to review the matter with knowledgeable NSF officials.

Current Efforts    We identified three efforts underway to improve accessto foreign tech-
                   nical information collected by the government. They are Project STRIDE
                   (Scientific and Technical Reporting Information Dissemination Enhance-
                   ment), the Office of JapaneseTechnical Literature, and an Office of
                   Naval Researchprogram called AssessmentSystem for European Tech-
                   nology and Science(ins).

ProjectSTRIDE      Project STRIDE, similar to COGATI but more limited ln scope,has its origins
                   in the President’s Executive Order of April 1987. In 1986, CBTP’S   Federal
                   Coordinating Council’s Committee on International Science,Engineering,
                   and Technology established a Working Group on International Educa-
                   tion, Infrastructure, and Facilities, which began exploring the adequacy
                   and accessibility of information on foreign scienceand technology. The
                   Working Group’s exploration of the foreign scienceand technology ,

                   Page23                                        GAO/NSIAD4O-ll7FonignTedu1ololfy

                               information problem led to the President’s issuing Executive Order
                               12591, dated April 10,1987. This order directed NSFand the Depart-
                               ments of State and Commerceto develop a central mechanismto
                               promptly and efficiently disseminate to users in federal laboratories,
                               academicinstitutions, and the private sector, on a fee-for-servicebasis,
                               scientific and technological information developed abroad.
                               In responseto this Executive Order, the three agenciesinitiated a jointly
                               developed,6-month pilot study for an unclassified information service
                               known as Project STRIDE.   Each of the three agenciesperforms different
                               functions, The State Department usesits scienceofficers at major for-
                               eign posts (including those in WesternEurope and in Tokyo) to collect
                               and report information through the U.S. government telegraphic net-
                               work to a wide audienceof end-usersin the government. Commerce’s
                               NTLS  publishes this information in its Foreign Technology Abstract
                               Newsletter. NSFextracts information from the incoming STRIDE      telegrams
                               and introduces this information into its internal databasenetwork. NSF
                               also includes this information in its periodical entitled International S&T
                                In 1988, Project !3TRDE was evaluated by a private consulting firm. The
                                consultant found problems in two areas:the supply of and the demand
                                for !3TRDE information. The consultant had been advised that there had
                                been an assumption that STRIDE  generated a large information flow that
                                only neededdispersion to a “guaranteed” readership in the research and
                                development community. In actuality, the consultant found that the
                                lnformatlon flow from SI’RIDE was limited, as was the interest among the
                                evaluator and user group. The consultant concluded that attempts to
                                generate a larger flow could be made, but would require a substantial
                                commitment of resources.The consultant made a series of recommenda-
                                tions on how to improve !3llUDE.The three agenciesbeganto take correc-
                                tive action, however, we were advised by the STRiDE  consultant that the
                                 Department of State had discontinued its corrective actions.

Office of Japanese Technical    Another current effort involves the Department of Commerce’sOffice of
Literature                      JapaneseTechnical Literature (OJTL).OJTI,deals with technical activities
                                and developments in Japan. It acquires and translates selectedJapanese
                                technical reports and documents and coordinates with other federal
                                agenciesand Departments to identify significant gaps and avoid duplica-
                                tion of effort in acquiring, translating, indexing, and disseminating Jap
                                anesetechnical information. OJTL’S    program responsibilities also include
                                monitoring Japanesetechnical developmentsand consulting with U.S.

                                Page 24                                    GAO/NSIAMM17    Foreign Technology
                             businesses,professional societies,and libraries on their need for Japa-
                             nesescientific information.

                             According to Commerce’sDeputy Assistant Secretary responsiblefor
                             OJTL,the program has limited resourcesavailable to accomplish its mis-
                             sion. To compensatefor this situation, it emphasizesthe use of mailings
                             to a network of persons and organizations dp~zbelieveswould benefit
                             from its work. OSIZalso acts to promote dialogue. For example, the
                             agency periodically holds conferences,inviting individuals and organiza-
                             tions that could benefit from information on Japanesetechnical litera-
                             ture. It conducts extensive meetings with other federal agenciesand
                             private firms. The program manager believesthese organizations share
                             that information with others, thus multiplying the distribution’s effect.

                             To fulfill its responsibility for avoiding gaps in coverageand for
                             preventing duplication, Commerce’sAssistant Secretary for Technology
                             Policy told us that the agency staff conducts interagency meetings and
                             maintains informal contacts. Also, OJTLconsults with agencies,busi-
                             nesses,and professional societiesbefore selecting which technologiesto

Assm                         The Office of Naval Research’sASSCTS   program is another effort to cre-
                             ate a focal point for ready accessto foreign technical information.
                             ASS~ is an unclassified, free, text-based system available to all US.
                             government agenciesin Europe. It provides a rapid search and review of
                             information concerning European science.ASSFISincludes abstracts and
                             articles together with details of authorship and local points of contact
                             for the technology reported. The prohibitive telecommunications costs
                             have limited system use.

                             Technological improvements to computers for retrieving data and the
opportunities   Exist   to
                             establishment of a databaseof experts are two opportunities to improve
Improve Accessto             accessto foreign technical information. Other possibilities, such as the
Foreign Technical            expansion of STRIDE, would require additional resources.Assessingthe
                             costs and benefits of such a funding increasewas beyond the scopeof
Information                  our work.

Technological                Technological advancesin accessingand retrieving computerized infor-
Improvements                 mation may provide an answer to the problem of accessingforeign tech-
                             nical information available in different agency databases.These
                             advancescan make data retrieval faster and easier. At least one agency,

                             P8gt 25                                    GAO/NSlAD3@117Fortign Technology
                      clupttr 3

                      DTIC,is already trying to implement one of these techniques. DTIC, in an
                      effort to gain greater accessto available information, is experimenting
                      with a data retrieval concept known as “gateways.” The gateways con-
                      cept is an attempt to electronically connect information systems with
                      differing databasestructures, hardware, and software. At present, the
                      concept is at an early stage of development and there is no general solu-
                      tion for linking different databases.

                      Gateways may be categorizedas either “information” or “knowledge”
                      types. The basic purpose of an information gateway is to help database
                      system users understand their information needs.The information gate-
                      way retrieves and brings data to users. A knowledge gateway, on the
                      other hand, goesbeyond retrieving and offers users optional informa-
                      tion processingthat allows users to manipulate the data as necessary.If
                      this is successful,information from international sourceswill be availa-
                      ble to the DTIC’Sdatabaseusers.

Database of Experts   As indicated earlier, many researchersand scientists collect information
                      on their own initiative in their field of study. They strive to keep
                      abreast of the latest developments and are frequently at the cutting
                      edgeof the technology under study. They frequently keep in touch with
                      other leaders, including foreign scientists, and, on an informal basis,
                      share knowledge. A databaselisting of experts and the disciplines they
                      study could be developed.If the experts agreeor are willing to partici-
                      pate, the databasecould indicate the person’s name, address,telephone,
                      number, fields of expertise, and other pertinent information.

                      The federal government collects an extensive amount of information on
Conclusions           foreign technology; however, more of it could be made available to other
                      agenciesand the public. To be useful, this information must be accessi-
                      ble to the people who would benefit from it. However, there are a
                      number of obstaclesto obtaining the information, which impede its
                      A 1960seffort to improve the coordination of foreign technical informa-
                      tion ceasedby 1972. Currently, efforts are underway to improve access
                      to information, but they are modest in scopeand limited in resources.

                       There are, however, somepossibilities for improving access.One is a
                       technological advance called gateways, which makes data retrieval
                       faster and easier. Another is the possibility of separating restricted and

                       Page 26                                    GAO/‘N-117      Foreign Technology
Fedtrtl A@mdet Cdtct b Nttdtd

unrestricted information, such as classified from unclassified, and pro-
prietary data from public information, Thesesolutions may increase
accessto the foreign technology information the government presently
Since there are many sourcesof foreign technical information of poten-
tial value to a large number of users, and since there have been past and
are now current efforts to improve accessto these sources,senior OSTP
and NTIS officials believe this may be an appropriate time for the federal
government to restudy the issue of collecting, collating, processing,and
disseminating foreign technical information to a wider audience.We
agree that there is a need for improved managementand dissemination
of such information, but are making no recommendationsat this time
pending the results of ongoing efforts and research to improve accessto
the information the government collects.

 Page 27                                    GAO/NSL4D4Wll7 Fort&n Tedmology
Appendix I

Description of Federal Agency
Monitoring Activity

                          Six federal agencieshave mJor monitoring efforts. This appendix con-
                          tains a description of their foreign technology monitoring activity.

Department of

National Technical        The National Technical Information Service collects and disseminates
                          foreign scientific technical information regarding new research and
Information Service       developments obtained through agreementswith hundreds of organiza-
                          tions. Monitoring is global and covers a wide variety of technologies.
                          xl~ products are for sale to the public and are purchased by private
                          industry, academicinstitutions, and individual researchers.The infor-
                          mation is used as a source for new ideas and to keep professionals
                          posted on the latest research in their fields.
                          NTIS’Office of International Affairs monitors developmentsin machine-
                          aided translation, with special emphasison Japanese-toEnglish lan-
                          guageconversion. Machine-aidedtranslation materials are also used
                          within NTISto expand its current service efforts, and they are expected
                          to eventually improve general accessto Japanesetechnical information.
                          Translations are shared with other government agenciesand made
                          available to the general public on a cost recovery basis.

Bureau of Export          The Bureau of Export Administration’s Office of Foreign Availability
Admini stration           monitors foreign technology to identify domestic export controls that
                          are no longer effective becausecomparable technologiesare available in
                          foreign countries. Monitoring is global, depending on the industry and
                          technology of interest, and covers all technologies.It usesresulting
                          information in reviewing certain export license applications.
                          The Bureau’s Office of Industrial ResourceAdministration monitors for-
                          eign technology to assessthe impact of
                      . imports on national security,
                      l foreign investments on defense-relatedindustries,
                      l DOD agreementson the U.S. industrial base,and
                      . foreign weapon development on defensepreparedness.

                           Plrgt   28                               GAO/Nf&4D-S@117Foreign Technology
                      It makes results of someof its efforts publicly available in a report to
                      the President from the Secretary of Commerce.Other efforts result in
                      internal and interagency memorandamaking recommendations.The
                      information is used to develop, implement, and promote a strong and
                      technologically superior defenseindustrial base.

International Trade   The International Trade Administration has five offices that play an
                      active role in monitoring foreign technology.
                      The Office of Telecommunicationsmonitors foreign technology to facili-
                      tate the export of U.S. telecommunications equipment and services.
                      Global monitoring focuseson telecommunication technology in areas
                      such as fibre optics, digital switching, and cellular phones.The results of
                      these efforts are generally published in the U.S. Industrial Outlook. The
                      Office makes individual studies available free of charge to other govern-
                      ment agenciesand to the public on a fee basis. The information included
                      is used in domestic and trade policy formulation and promotion.

                      The Office of Aerospacemonitors foreign technology to help reduce
                      trade barriers and increaseexport opportunities for the U.S. aerospace
                      industry. Monitoring focuseson the European Community, Brazil, Can-
                      ada, Japan, and Southeast Asia. The technologiesmonitored relate to
                      advanced aerospacetechnology. The information is published in the U.S.
                      Industrial Outlook. Unclassified products are available to the public.
                      Classified and restricted products are available to qualified U.S. govern-
                      ment agencies.The information may be used to measuretrade perform-
                      ance and help gaugeU.S. industrial competitiveness.

                      The Office of General Industrial Machinery monitors foreign technology
                      to analyze markets and promote foreign trade efforts undertaken by the
                      U.S. metalworking industry. Monitoring efforts focus upon the European
                      Community, the Soviet Union, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Brazil. The
                      technologies tracked include computer controlled machine tools, metal
                      cutting tools, welding and robotics. The results of these efforts are
                      included in the US. Industrial Outlook. Assessmentsare available to the
                      public from the U.S. Government Printing Office. The information is
                      used to support trade development and government activities, including
                      Voluntary Restraint Agreements and the President’s DomesticAction
                      The Office of Computers and BusinessEquipment monitors foreign tech-
                      nology to support trade analyses and promotion efforts undertaken by

                      Put 29                                      GAO/‘NSIAD-W117For&n Technology
                        API=*        I
                        DtmdptlonofFtdtral         Agency
                        Monltorlng       Actlvlg

                        the U.S. computer and businessequipment industry. While recent moni-
                        toring efforts have focused upon Japan, Korea, and Brazil, monitoring is
                        global, and technologies include computer hardware and software,
                        focusing in the last 2 years on supercomputer and personal computer
                        technology. Competitive assessmentsand market studies have been
                        available to the public from the U.S. Government Printing Office and
                        NTISfor a fee. Products are available to other government agenciesfree
                        of charge.
                        The Office of Microelectronics and Instrumentation monitors foreign
                        technology to support increasedexports of electronic devicesand instru-
                        ments. Global monitoring efforts track such technologiesas microelec-
                        tronics, semiconductors,medical equipment, and scientific
                        instrumentation. The Office focuseson Japan, Korea, the People’s
                        Republic of China, the United Kingdom, WestGermany, and Prance.The
                        results of these efforts include competitive assessmentsand policy brief-
                        ing papers. Competitive assessmentsare available to the public for a fee
                        and are published in the U.S. Industrial Outlook. Most products are
                        available to other government agenciesfree of charge. The information
                        is used for policy formation and trade promotion.

The JapaneseTechni.Cd    The JapaneseTechnical Literature Program coordinates federal agency
Lite rature Program      collection, translation, and dissemination efforts relating to Japanese
                         technical information. The technologiestracked include advancedmate-
                         rials, microelectronics, manufacturing technology, biotechnology, medi-
                         cal equipment, and robotics. The program issuesa quarterly news
                         bulletin, the Annual Directory of JapaneseTechnical Resources,and
                         annual summary reports on scientific and technical developments.The
                         information is used to develop competitive assessmentsand new techni-
                         cal programs in the United States.

Department of

The DefenseTechnical     The DefenseTechnical Information Center is the central collection and
Information Center       distribution point for scientific and technical information resulting from
                         DOD’s research and development efforts. The Center collects and dissemi-
                         nates foreign scientific technical information through international

                         P8gt   30                                 GAO/NSWW117 Foreign Technology
                           exchangeagreements,foreign contractors, and other DOD organizations.
                           Global monitoring covers all scientific and technical literature. Products
                           are available to Department of Defenseorganizations and their contrac-
                           tors, private industry, academicinstitutions, and other government
                           agencies,sometimesfor a fee. Unclassified reports are available to the
                           public through NTIS.The information included can be used to support
                           basic research, U.S. government policy formulation, and foreign scien-
                           tific and technical information monitoring efforts by other U.S. govem-
                           ment agencies.

                           DOD’S Information Analysis Centers acquire, analyze, and summarize for-
Information Analysis       eign scientific and technical information in highly technical specialized
Centers                    subject areas. Subject areas of interest include software development,
                           cold weather, nuclear science,and infrared analysis and technology.
                           Bibliographies, abstracts, and the servicesof the Centers are available
                           to authorized DOD units and to the public on a limited basis. The informa-
                           tion can be used to support DOD basic and applied research,policy for-
                           mulation, and acquisitions.

The Defense Intelligence   The DefenseIntelligence Agency administers DOD’S !&rates project. Soc-
                           rates monitors foreign scientific and technical information to support
Agency                     DOD efforts to improve industrial competitiveness and provide planning
                           information for U.S. military technological strategic purposes. Monitor-
                           ing is global and focuseson specific technologiesof strategic interest.
                           The information collected is used to produce capability assessmentsof
                           strategic technologies. Using these data, Project Socratesproduces
                           parameter reports to support export control decisions,research deci-
                           sions, technology policy planning and international agreements.Prod-
                           ucts are classified and available to authorized government

Industrial and             This program monitors foreign scientific and technical information to
International Programs     preserve export controls on technology that is military-critical and con-
                           tributes to cooperative technology programs. Information from global
                           monitoring is published in reports of the Institute for DefenseAnalyses.
                           Accessto these reports is essentially unlimited. Additionally, through
                           the Institute for DefenseAnalyses, Industrial and International Pro-
                           grams provide foreign technology assessmentsin support of the Defense
                           Critical TechnologiesPlan.

                           Ptgt31                                      GAO/NSIMMW117   Fore&n Technology
                AQW?d         1
                Desaiption of Federal Agema
                Monitoring        Activity

The U.S. Army   The Army’s European ResearchOffice monitors foreign scientific and
                technical information to try to identify unique foreign technologies.
                These technologies are transferred to appropriate Army laboratories
                and research facilities. Monitoring focuseson Europe, the Middle East,
                India, and Africa. The technologiesmonitored include basic research in
                physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, electronics, materials, engi-
                neering, and geosciences.The information acquired is included in Scien-
                tific Highlights, USARDSG-UKResearchActivities Report, and the U.S.
                Army ResearchOffice Annual Report. Distribution of these products is
                unrestricted. The data collected are used by the Army and other govem-
                ment agenciesin the planning and execution of research and develop
                 ment programs.
                Army laboratories monitor foreign scientific and technical information
                relevant to Army interests and responsibilities. Activities include the
                monitoring of meteorological data in Canada and Europe, the monitoring
                of robotics globally, and information on explosive devices focusing on
                France, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. The information is
                used to assesscompetitiveness,guide research and development efforts,
                and standardize techniques. Product distribution varies among the
                 The Army’s Foreign Scienceand Technology Center monitors foreign sci-
                 entific and technical information relating to military material and hard-
                 ware. Monitoring is global. Classified reports are available within the
                 intelligence community. Unclassified reports are available to the public
                 through DTIC and NTIS.

The U.S. Navy    The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations monitors foreign technology
                 by focusing on those technologieswith potential naval application and
                 those that can help identify areas for international research and devel-
                 opment cooperation. Countries monitored include Australia, Brazil,
                 Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan. The Office also
                 develops bilateral and multilateral information exchangeagreements
                 and technology cooperation programs with foreign nations. Listings of
                 the agreementsand programs are available to the public.

                 The Office of Naval Researchmonitors foreign technology through
                 offices in London and Tokyo. The London Office monitors scienceand
                 technology developments in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, and
                 the Tokyo office monitors scienceand technology in Japan and Korea.
                 The information obtained by the London Office is included in the ASSETS

                  P8gt   32                                GAO,‘NsItiD.~117 Foreign Technology
                       database and contains abstracts, articles, and local points of contact of
                       interest to the Office’s European Office and the European scientific

The U.S. Air Force     The U.S. Air Force’s Foreign Technology Division maintains the Central
                       Information and ReferenceControl database.This office is the primary
                       producer of global scientific and technical aerospaceintelligence.

                       Within the Department of Energy, research laboratories monitor foreign
Department of Energy   scientific and technical information relevant to their areasof research.
                       Subjects of interest include nuclear weapons, high-energy lasers, com-
                       posite materials, and reactor technology. Monitoring efforts cover coun-
                       tries with significant technical abilities in these areas,potential
                       suppliers, and countries with potential interests in acquiring nuclear
                       capability. A variety of products result from these efforts. Someinfor-
                       mation is maintained in databases.Information is generally classified
                       and receives limited distribution. The information is used to support
                       strategic planning, security related planning and decision-making, and
                       tracking the flow of technology to sensitive nations.

                       The State Department has scienceofficers in 24 major posts abroad,
Department of State    including most Western European capitals and Tokyo, and at several
                       international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic
                       Cooperation and Development. The officers report on foreign science
                       and technical developments to approximately 60 federal government
                       units. These reports are provided to the National Technical Information
                       Service for publication in the Foreign Technology Abstract Newsletter,
                       which is available to the public for an annual subscription fee. The
                       information is used by numerous federal agenciesand researchersto
                       monitor foreign technology developments of interest to them.

National Aeronautics   NASAmaintains a comprehensivedatabase system covering aeronautics,
                       space,and supporting disciplines. The system began in 1962 and is
and Space              maintained by NASA’S  scientific and Technical Information Facility.
Administration         Using this database, NAsAproduces semimonthly professional journals,
                       including The Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports and Intema-
                       tional Aerospace Abstracts. These publications comprise about
                       two-thirds of the database and are commercially available in the United

                       Ptgt 8a                                     GAO/NSIAD-9Wl7   Fort&n Ttchnology
                   Monltorlng A4ctMtv

                   States through NASA and the American Institute of Aeronautics and
                   As of 1988, approximately 37 percent of the databasewas from foreign
                   sources,with about 14 percent from the Soviet Union and other Eastern
                   Bloc countries. Japaneseitems make up about 6 percent of the database.
                   NASA has informal, bilateral exchangearrangements with more than 20

                   The National ScienceFoundation collects information about scientific
National Science   developments and policy abroad. Subjects include astronomy, chemistry,
Foundation         materials, mathematics, physics, computing and information processing.
                   Monitoring relates to scientific leadership in each subject. The informa-
                   tion is used in the evaluation of grant proposals and reported in NSF

                   The Division of International Programs coordinates and managesthe NSF
                   International Cooperative Scientific and Engineering Activities pro-
                   grams. The programs are intended to foster U.S. knowledge of science
                   and engineering activities in foreign countries, to initiate and support
                   international cooperative activities, to provide opportunities for scien-
                   tific collaboration in developing countries, and to provide support to
                   U.S. institutions for foreign research.Information and analysis activities
                   are emphasized,including the monitoring of technical developmentsin
                   approximately 60 countries and organizations.

                   The Division of ScienceResourceStudies collects current and detailed
                   information on the scientific resources,activities, and capabilities of for-
                   eign countries. The information is included in Scientific ResourcesHiah-
                   lights, published annually in the International Scienceand Technology
                   Data Update, and maintained for public use of the ScienceResources
                   Studies’ Electronic Bulletin Board. The data facilitate comparisons
                   between U.S. scientific and engineering activities and those of Japan,
                   Western Europe, the Soviet Union, and other nations. It is intended to
                   provide timely, policy related information to research and development
                   managers,sciencepolicymakers and other agencieswithin the federal
                   The Division of Electrical and Communications Systemsmanagesthe
                   JapaneseTechnology Evaluation Project in collaboration with other fed-
                   eral agencies. The Project assessesJapaneseresearch and development
                   efforts in technologies such as advancedsensorsand computer assisted

                    Pyle 34                                    GAO/NSL4DSO-117 Fort&n Ttchnology
design and manufacturing. Assessmentsare made available to the public
through NTTS and are distributed directly to individual scientists listed
with the Project. The studies are intended to provide an understanding
of Japaneseresearch and technology to federal decisionmakersand pri-
vate industry.

 Page a6                                   GAO/N~ll7       Fore&n Technololly
Appendix II

Major Contributor to This Report

                        Steven H. Stemlieb, Project Director
National Security and
International Affairs
Division, Washington,
                        Thomas J. McGrane,Project Manager
Boston RegionalOffice   Nicolas DeMinico, Deputy Project Manager
                        Walter Dunbar, Evaluator
                        ReubenGarcia, Evaluator
                        Gino Angelone, Evaluator
                        Jennifer Arns, Programmer-Analyst

                        Page 30                                GAO/-NSIAD@M17 Foreign Technology