Summary: S.1325 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (07/31/1998)

Technology Administration Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1998, 1999, and 2000 - Authorizes appropriations to the Department of Commerce for the: (1) Scientific and Technical Research and Services laboratory activities of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); (2) construction and maintenance of Institute facilities; (3) activities of Under Secretary for Technology, the Office of Technology Policy, and the Office of Air and Space Commercialization; and (4) industrial technology services activities of the Institute. Prohibits funds authorized for construction of Institute facilities in FY 1999 from being obligated unless the Secretary of Commerce has certified to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the House Science Committee that the obligation of funds is consistent with a plan for meeting the facility needs of the Institute that the Secretary has transmitted to those committees.

(Sec. 6) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act respecting the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) to: (1) require each applicant for a contract or award to certify that the applicant has made an effort to secure private market funding for the research project involved; (2) permit a large business to participate in a research project that is the subject of a contract or award only as a member of a joint venture that includes one or more small businesses as members; (3) authorize the Secretary to vest title to tangible personal property in any recipient of financial assistance under specified conditions; and (4) require all amounts appropriated for grants to be used for grants awarded on the basis of general open competition.

(Sec. 7) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to provide for the extension of Federal financial assistance to Regional Centers for the Transfer of Manufacturing Technology under the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program after the sixth year of operation for capital and annual operating expenses and maintenance costs. Limits the proportion of funding that a Center may receive from the Government after the sixth year to one-third of its total operating costs under the Program.

(Sec. 8) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 respecting the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to expand the list of categories for awards to include: (1) health care providers; (2) education providers; and (3) environmental technology providers.

(Sec. 9) Prohibits funds authorized by this Act or any other Act enacted before the date of enactment of this Act from being used for the Next Generation Internet, with the exception of funds that may be used for the continuation of the programs and activities related to Next Generation Internet that were funded and carried out during FY 1997.

(Sec. 11) Expresses the sense of the Congress regarding assessing, correcting, and developing contingency plans for year 2000 date-related computer problems of the Institute.

(Sec. 12) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Director should donate educationally useful Federal equipment to schools to enhance the science and mathematic programs of those schools. Mandates annual reports to the President.

(Sec. 13) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to establish within the Institute a teacher science and technology enhancement program to provide for the professional development of mathematics and science school teachers.

(Sec. 14) Requires a joint study by the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering to review the effectiveness of the ATP.

(Sec. 15) Establishes within the Department an Office of Air and Space Commercialization to be the principal unit for the coordination of space-related issues, programs, and initiatives within the Department.

(Sec. 16) Establishes the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology (EPSCoT) to strengthen the technological competitiveness of States that have historically received less Federal research and development funds than those received by a majority of the States. Directs the Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary, to: (1) enter into arrangements for the coordination of EPSCoT through the State committees established under the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) of the National Science Foundation; and (2) cooperate with any State science and technology council established under EPSCoR and representatives of small business firms and other technology-based businesses. Requires: (1) a specified report; and (2) an evaluation of the EPSCoT program.

(Sec. 17) Amends the Fastener Quality Act to exempt from testing and certification requirements fasteners specifically manufactured or altered for use on an aircraft if the quality and suitability of those fasteners for that use has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Declares that such exemption shall not apply to fasteners represented by the fastener manufacturer as having been manufactured in conformance with standards or specifications established by a consensus standards organization or a Federal agency other than the FAA.

Prohibits the regulations issued under the Fastener Quality Act by NIST on April 14, 1998, and any other regulations issued by NIST pursuant to the Act from taking effect until after the later of June 1, 1999, or 120 days after the Secretary reports to the House Committee on Science, the House Committee on Commerce, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on: (1) changes in fastener manufacturing processes that have occurred since the enactment of the Act; (2) a comparison of the Act to other regulatory programs that regulate the various categories of fasteners and an analysis of any duplication that exists among programs; and (3) any changes in that Act that may be warranted. Provides for such report to be transmitted to such Committees by February 1, 1999.

(Sec. 18) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 and 2000 for the Federal share of the administrative costs of the International Arctic Research Center.