Good luck to Sen. Claire McCaskill and other U.S. senators who are trying to eliminate a federal agency that no longer is needed — it’s worthless. However, there is a longstanding axiom that once a federal agency is created that part of the bureaucracy is bullet-proof.
The agency is the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Sen. McCaskill and others have questioned whether the agency’s mission of compiling and selling government reports, many of which are available online, to other federal agencies and to the public is still viable in the Internet age.
Sen. McCaskill is chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight. She has questioned how the agency allows private companies to provide services to the Feds for payment, apparently acting as a pass-through to avoid scrutiny and rules that apply to formal federal contracts. She added that the services already are available to federal agencies through individual contracts or the General Services Administration.
“NTIS has been trying to profit by selling documents that have little, if anything, to do with scientific, or technical information, like the Armed Forces Recipe Book, and even my colleague Dr. Coburn’s Wastebook, which actually includes NTIS as a prime example of wasteful government,” Sen. McCaskill said.
Sen. McCaskill and others in the Senate have introduced a bill to eliminate NTIS. This action raises the question of how many other federal agencies do we have that are obsolete but are still being funded by our tax dollars?