Comparative Table of Parliamentary TA Institutions
The staff working for CAPCIT is limited. The preparation of meetings as
well as other administrative tasks and services are carried out by
officials from the Parliament of Catalonia. In particular, the
secretary of CAPCIT is one of the lawyers for Parliament. On the other
hand, once a decision is made within CAPCIT for one of the scientific
and technical institutions to be charged with drafting a report, said
institution will draw on its own staff and resources.
Danish Board of Technology is a non-profit, common good, corporative
foundation, established in the course of the abolishment of the former
Danish Board of Technology by June 20, 2012.
A corporate foundation is in Denmark a foundation, which bases
its income on commercial activities and uses the revenue for common
good purposes. Before the establishment of the foundation the Danish
Board of Technology was a public, independent institution established
by the Danish Parliament (the Folketing) under the Board of Technology
Act No. 375 of 14 June 1995. The first Board of Technology was set up
as a time-limited statutory body in 1986 and replaced by the Board
(Teknologirådet) on 31 July 1995. The abolishment of the DBT in 2012
triggered a company take-over into the foundation on June 20, 2012.
The DBT was brought into being with three functions in mind.
First, it was expected to disseminate knowledge about technology, its
possibilities and its effects on people, on society and on the
environment in order to support the level of knowledge and the debate
in society. Second, it should support the work of Parliament by
bringing forth visions, assessments and inspiration for political
action. And third, there was an expectation that the Board should build
its work on the experiences with action research made in the social
sciences during the end of the 1970´s and the beginning of the 1980´s.
So, DBT was born with expectations of serving Parliament, the public
discourse and the actors involved in technology policy-making.
The DBT Foundation will build on this historical background and is expected to supply it with two new components.
As a consequence of this development, the DBT Foundation makes use of
the term Policy-oriented TA as a core function of its work.
Parliamentary TA is an important part of this wider concept of TA.
The relation to the Danish Parliament is being processed at the
time of writing. However, the Danish Parliament´s Committee for
Science, Innovation and Higher Education is expected to point out two
members of the Board of Representatives of the DBT Foundation. It is
expected as well that an evaluation will take place in 2013, which will
make a basis for clarifying the longer term relation between the
Parliament and the DBT.
The DBT comprises a Board of Governors, a Board of Representatives, a Director and a Secretariat.
- Other political decision-makers than the Danish Parliament are
presumed to receive more focus from the DBT in the future because of
the wide-spread influence on technology decisions in modern societies.
- The DBT Foundation expects to make use of its TA methodologies in
areas, where the technology component of the problem is less dominating.
- The Board of Governors consists of seven members, including a
chairman. The Board of representatives appoints two members. The
employees appoint one member among their midst, and one member who
cannot be an employee. The former Board appoints two members, plus one
member after consultation of EPTA or a comparable relevant
international organisation. It is being clarified at the time of
writing if the Parliament is going to appoint one member.
- The rules for setting up the Board of Representatives are being laid out at the time of writing.
- The Director is employed by the Board of Governors. She/he takes
part in and can speak at the meetings of the Board of Governors, but
- The Secretariat carries out the projects of the DBT and consists of
9 project managers (scientific staff), 2 project secretaries, 4
administrative staffers and 6-10 project employed assistants - mostly
As a corporate foundation, DBT carries out activities financed by third
party funds. These have until 2012 mainly come from municipalities,
regions, governmental agencies, the EU Commission and the European
Parliament, but it is expected that the range of financial partners
will expand into charity foundations, financing consortiums of societal
actors and the Danish Parliament. The yearly turnover is expected to be
around 9 million DKK (1,2 million Euro in 2012).
The STOA Panel, which is an integral part of
Parliament´s structure, is politically responsible for STOA´s work. It
comprises 24 members with the right to vote:
The members of the STOA Panel are appointed for a renewable
two-and-a-half-year period. The Panel is reconstituted in the beginning
and in the middle of each parliamentary term, following the appointment
of its members by the eight committees. Monthly Panel meetings are held in Strasbourg and can be followed via webstreaming.
- the Vice-President of Parliament with responsibility for STOA;
- 6 members appointed by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy;
- 3 members appointed by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs;
- 3 members appointed by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety;
- 3 members appointed by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection;
- 3 members appointed by the Committee on Transport and Tourism;
- 3 members appointed by the Committee on Agriculture;
- 1 member appointed by the Committee on Legal Affairs;
- 1 member appointed by the Committee on Culture and Education.
The STOA Bureau oversees the running of the STOA activities and
prepares the Panel meetings. The STOA Panel in turn elects three
members of the Bureau: the Chair and two Vice-Chairs. The
Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for STOA is ex officio also a member of the STOA Bureau.
STOA´s operational responsibilities are with the STOA Secretariat,
which is part the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) within Directorate C
(Impact Assessment and European Added Value) of the EP's
Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS). In
addition to the STOA Secretariat, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA)
comprises the Scientific Foresight Service, created in 2014.
2000 Parliament decided to make the Committee a permanent Committee
with the same high status as the other standing permanent committees.
The committee has meetings twice a week. 17 members of
Parliament from all political parties sit around the same table in the
committee room and their only task is think, discuss and decide on new
things - on Futures as researchers of Future Studies would say. In the
Finnish parliamentary system committee meetings are closed, so MPs are
more free to discuss and look for common or different opinions. Anyway
they share different kinds of problems and options of Futures in spite
of being representatives from right to left and all between.
Its current tasks are (1) to prepare material to be submitted
to the Finnish Parliament, such as government reports on the future,
(2) to make submissions on future-related long-term issues to other
standing committees, (3) to debate issues relating to future
development factors and development models, (4) to undertake analyses
pertaining to future-related research and IT methodology, and (5) to
function as a parliamentary body for assessing technological
development and its consequences for society.
All members of the Committee are MPs, and like most of the
other standing committees it has 17 members. So, it neither
concentrates on preparing legislation nor reviewing the government´s
annual budget proposal, but in other respects it resembles the other
committees. What makes it different is the nature of its functions and
its new fields of tasks. Its mission is to conduct an active and
initiative-generating dialogue with the government on major future
problems and the means of solving them. Since the problems of the
future and above all its opportunities, cannot be studied through
traditional parliamentary procedures and work methods alone, the
committee has been given the specific task of following and using the
results of research. Indeed, the committee can be said to be making
policy on the future, because its goal is not research but rather
Because the Committee itself decides its modest annual
research, printing and translation budget, research projects must be
chosen, manned, timed and directed well. The Committee has an annual
budget for the research projects and permanent scientific expert who
coordinates projects. All administrative costs are covered by
Parliament´s general budget.
OPECST is an unusual structure within Parliament: its members, who are
appointed so as to ensure proportional representation of the political
groups, belong both to the National Assembly and to the Senate. It is
composed of eighteen MPs and eighteen Senators; each member may be
appointed as a rapporteur. A rapporteur is an MP or a Senator in
charge of writing a report on a given subject.
The OPECST is chaired alternately for a period of three years,
by a member of either assembly. Internal rules stipulate that the First
Vice-President shall belong to the other Assembly.
The OPECST acts as an intermediary between the political world
and the world of research. It must listen to researchers and requests
authorized opinions. In order to carry out its task, the OPECST is
assisted by a Scientific Council reflecting the diversity of scientific
and technological disciplines in its very composition, as it is made up
of twenty- four leading figures selected on account of their expertise.
TAB is operated by the
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) under a contract with the
German Bundestag. TAB is an independent scientific unit of the
Institute for Technology Assessment and System Analysis (ITAS). TAB and
ITAS cooperate in conducting research as well as in developing concepts
and methods of technology assessment.
The Director of TAB is appointed by KIT in consultation with
the responsible Committee on Education, Research and Technology
Assessment. Professor Armin Grunwald, who also heads the Institute for
Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology, is responsible for the scientific results of
TAB´s work and represents them vis à vis the German Bundestag.
The director of TAB and his or her staff are, in matters of
content, not bound by instructions of the KIT with respect to any tasks
assigned to them by the Bundestag, and that the director of TAB has
responsibility for the scientific accuracy of the results produced by
TAB and also has sole responsibility for selection TAB staff. TAB is
located in Berlin. Currently, eight scientists from various disciplines
are employed there.
As TAB´s governing body, the Committee on Education, Research
and Technology Assessment is chiefly responsible for deciding on the
work programme, approving final reports, and communicating with the
Members of Parliament and its committees. It has a standing »TA
rapporteur group«, with one member from each parliamentary political
party. This group prepares all the decisions on TAB to be taken by the
Committee, from the decision to carry out a TA project through to
approval of the final report. The Committee secretariat assists the
rapporteurs in their work.
The committee, through
its work, tries to leverage the promotion of research, technology and
development in the country. The committee will support every significant effort
in research and technology development. An important mission is to inform the
citizens on developments in science and new technologies that take place both
in Greece and the »global village« through the committee’s reports.
The main goals are:
The Rathenau instituut has two key tasks:
- Highlight the importance of investment in research and technology
- Encourage the business community to invest in Reasearch, Technology and Development.
- Assist the Ministry of Education to promote the work of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)
- Monitor the developments in scientific research and evaluate the benefit for society
- Contribute to decision making and strategies in Research, Technology and Development
- To contribute to the societal debate and political opinion
forming on issues related to - or resulting from - scientific and
technological developments. This includes ethical, social, cultural and
legal aspects. The Institute contributes in particular to the formation
of political opinions in both Houses of Parliament, the European
Parliament and parties involved in the scientific world.
- To increase the insight into how the science system works, by
collecting, integrating and analysing data and making them accessible
for policy and scientifically grounded policymaking. The science policy
studies are directed at Government, Parliament and science
The NBT produces policy briefs and reports to
the Parliament, publishes reports, organises seminars for the standing
committees and takes part in open hearings at the Parliament. Oral and written
information to the different representatives and party groups are provided on
request. All projects rely on the involvement of external expert groups that
are led by the NBT secretariat. Workshops open hearings, and research analyses
are also used to collect information and views.
All work is organised around projects. The
Board decides independently which projects are adapted, and Board members are
represented in all expert groups. In the end phase, the projects are presented
to the relevant parliamentary standing committee, often in combination with an
open meeting at the Parliament.
An important part of NBT’s terms of reference,
is to further the public debate on technology and society and to involve lay
people in the discussion. Hence, the NBT also functions as an intermediary
between research, politics and the public, and facilitates participatory processes
as well as scenario workshops.
The Norwegian Board of Technology has a budget
of approximately 1,1 million EUR per year.
assessments often concern more than one committee. The Riksdag´s work
with issues relating to the future therefore, wherever possible, is
carried out at a cross-committee level. The committees are to cooperate
in initiating joint technology assessments. The committees´ proposals
and requests are submitted to the PER, which can assist in conducting
the analyses. This will promote a coordinated management of issues
relating to the future. The committees are encouraged to cooperate
actively and to inform each other and spread examples of best
practices, for example, at chairmen´s conferences and meetings of
The PER works on the behalf of the committees and has thus not
the mandate to initiate large projects of its own. Within the framework
of a proposal the unit can, however, propose focal points and methods.
Two full-time scientists are employed at the unit and external experts
can be hired for scientific support and for writing background
material. The unit also has one person who is mainly responsible for
organising workshops, seminars etc. In addition, two temporary staff
members, one via a fellowship-scheme and the other via an internship,
work at the unit.
In most cases, an all-party steering group is assigned to
provide guidelines for a TA assignment and to ensure that they are
carried out in accordance with the Committee´s terms of reference. A
contact person from the Committee secretariat is assigned to assist at
the meetings with the reference group. A group of experts is also
assigned to scrutinise the content of the reports.
TA-SWISS looks back onto an eventful history –
and has been able to celebrate its 20th anniversary on October 29,
2012. During these 20 years, it has always been of utmost importance for
TA to be performed independently of political and economic interests. This is
still the highest premise today. State funding allows for the basic financing
of TA-SWISS. Additionally, there is third-party funding by independent organisations.
In this way, the infrastructure and the personnel of the TA-SWISS office
comprising five fulltime jobs is financed. Additionally, project-specific
mandates that are assigned to external interdisciplinary research groups and
the organisation and execution of participative projects are remunerated by these
TA-SWISS acts jointly with renowned national or
international research institutes or specialized departments. The assignment of
a project to a research group works as follows: The specific TA aspects are clearly
stated in the call for tender regarding the specific project; correspondingly,
the received offers are evaluated according to these criteria. The TA-SWISS
executive committee (TA-SWISS-Leitungsausschuss, LA), composed of roughly 15
members with totally different professional competences and institutional
backgrounds, decides whether a project will be carried out as well as which
offer to accept in the case of a study. A project manager of the TA-SWISS
office then initializes the project and supervises the commissioned institution
throughout the whole duration of the project. The final focus of each project
always emerges through the cooperative work of and the intensive debate with
all participants. Not only the research group entrusted with the project, but also
the TA-SWISS office and the monitoring group provide important inputs. The latter,
consisting of 10 to 20 persons with appropriate professional competences, is
formed specifically for each project. It reviews the concept, the intermediate
as well as the final results and thus ensures quality and a well-balanced
presentation of the subject.
POST´s activities are determined by its Parliamentary Board, composed
of 10 members of the House of Commons, four from the House of Lords
and, highly unusually, 4 non-parliamentary members - leading scientists
and engineers with skills in particular areas of science and
POST has a permanent staff of six scientific
and technical specialists, a Director and two PA’s. These are complemented by
the POST fellows (see below) of whom there are usually 5–6 present at any time.
It is difficult to give an authoritative figure for the total annual budget of
POST as many services such as accommodation, IT, training, etc. are provided
centrally by the UK Parliament. However, annual direct operational costs are
about 500,000 GBP.
ITA is a research unit of the ÖAW, which for its part is one of the
largest non-university research institutions in Austria with a
particular focus on basic research. In accordance with the
interdisciplinary approach of TA, the ITA was set up as an institute of
the "Academy as a whole", not related to one of its two
multidisciplinary chapters. The ITA is advised and supported by an
international scientific advisory board (SAB) and is evaluated
externally at six yearly intervals. Currently, the ITA has around 20
employees. Its work is financed by the Ministry of Science through the
ÖAW and, accounting for roughly one third of the budget, by third-party
funds (e.g. the Research Fund, various Austrian ministries, the EU
etc.). The overall budget runs to around 1.5 million EUR.
Assembly is the driving force of the Organisation in extending European
co-operation to all democratic states throughout Europe. It has been
behind many of the Organisation´s major initiatives such as the
European Convention on Human Rights (1950) and the Convention on Human
Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention, 1997). It is consulted about
the international treaties drawn up at the Council of Europe.
The Assembly speaks for 800 million Europeans citizens, acting as the democratic conscience of Greater Europe:
External relations of the Assembly cover not only national parliaments
of member and non-member states, but also international parliamentary
assemblies and international intergovernmental organisations. The
Assembly has developed its contacts with the European Parliament, the
Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, the Inter-Parliamentary Union,
Benelux, the Nordic Council, PABSEC, CIS and others.
For many years the Assembly has also acted as a parliamentary
forum for a certain number of intergovernmental organisations, in
particular the OECD, and has developed close relations with specific
organisations such as the EBRD and many of the specialised agencies of
the United Nations.
- it promotes the development and implementation of the highest
standards of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, for the
benefit of the peoples of Europe;
- it is a laboratory of ideas and a forum for debates on emerging and
topical European issues, and it seeks to identify trends, provide
policy guidance, set benchmarks and standards and disseminate best
- it exercises political oversight over the action of parliaments and
governments in implementing Council of Europe standards, monitors the
situation in Member States and endeavours to help them to honour their
The main BAS responsibilities include:
supporting the legislative process with an expert advice, providing deputies
with information and expert opinions and conducting research (in the area of
law, economy and society) related to the legislative process. The most
expanding area of responsibilities during the last years is the European law
and policies (e.g. BAS provides analyses of EU institutions and legislation,
for example the Bureau verifies whether draft legislation proposed by deputies
is in compliance with EU law). In cooperation with the Sejm committees BAS also
organises conferences and seminars.
Currently BAS employs a total of 70 full-time
analysts. As the structure of employment reflects the duties performed by the
Bureau, the main group of employees are lawyers (45 experts in various law
specialities). The rest includes some 15 economists and specialists in
such fields as social science, agriculture or environment. BAS also cooperates
with numerous representatives of science and with external experts. If, for
various reasons, a commissioned work cannot be done within the Bureau, it is
then contracted to the external experts.
The Bureau is composed of 6 departments:
Currently it is only the Social and Economic Analyses Department that deals with questions on new technologies and TA.
Center for Science, Technology, and Engineering (CSTE), which has
conducted GAO´s seven technology assessments, is located within GAO´s
Applied Research and Methods (ARM) team. CSTE is jointly directed by
GAO´s Chief Scientist (Dr. Timothy M. Persons) and Chief Technologist
(Dr. Nabajyoti Barkakati), and in addition to conducting technology
assessments, the center conducts or supports GAO´s performance audits
that relate to science and technical issues and provides other S&T
support to GAO as needed. While GAO has a total staff count of
approximately 3,000 individuals, as of January 2012, the total staff
count within CSTE was 40 technical analysts across a spectrum of
disciplines, ranging from physical sciences (physics, chemistry, and
geology), engineering, computer sciences, and operations research
sciences (cost engineering, earned value management, and schedule risk
analysis). When conducting technology assessments, CSTE augments its
capabilities by utilizing other analysts in GAO, including individuals
with specialized professional knowledge within ARM, such as economists,
social scientists, statisticians, methodologists, and data analysts.
- Parliamentary and Constitutional Law Dept.
- Legislative Analyses Dept.
- European and International Law Dept.
- Dept. for Matters before the Constitutional Tribunal
- International Comparative Analyses Dept.
- Social and Economic Analyses Dept.
© EPTA, provided by ITA; version 01/2017