"Towards the end of the 1970s, I was told by one of our most competent defence secretaries that he did not regard it as his responsibility to ensure that a weapons programme submitted by the Department of Defense for the president's budget was sound and worthwhile. He saw it as the job of the White House Office of Management and Budget to sort that out, with the help of the PSAC. To me this was evidence that increased scientific and technological expertise in government departments increased rather than reduced the need for scientific competence in the White House.
Since Nixon abolished the PSAC, no president has seen fit to create an advisory committee of a similar level of commitment or energy — despite the establishment of a President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology by George Bush Snr in 1990. In 1972, Congress had founded the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA),...The unique feature of the OTA was an advisory committee for each study that included passionate proponents and opponents of the programme in question, whose points of view were evaluated, if not endorsed.
The United States has drawn particular strength from granting independent technical consultants access to government at many levels. Such individuals add knowledge, if not always wisdom. Today, that access is increasingly subject to political and ideological tests...
In a further blow, the OTA was abolished in 1995...Some likened this act to Congress shooting themselves in the brain." --Richard Garwin