The Reagan administration, like the Carter administration, regularly talks about ending the proliferation of special committees and commissions. But they still go on.
A new Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Technology has been created to advise the National Science Foundation, according to a notice in the March 3 Federal Register (page 15015).
As with many of these organizations, it was mandated by Congress -- in this case provisions of the Science and Technology Equal Opportunities Act, which was passed Dec. 15. Its role, according to the notice, is to "encourage full participation of women, minorities and other groups currently underrepresented in scientific, engineering, professional and technical fields."
Two subcommittees have been mandated: One will deal with matters relating to the involvement of women in science and "the impact of science and technology on women." According to the notice, the subcommittee "will be composed primarily of women. . . ." There also will be a subcommittee on minorities, which will study "the impact of science and technology on minorities," and, naturally, be "composed primarily of minority members. . . ."
Meanwhile, one attempt at rule-making on discrimination against minorities and women may be facing a setback, according to the Feb. 26 Federal Register (page 14129).
An Interior Department rule barring discrimination against minority- and women-owned enterprises attempting to do business in Outer Continental Shelf leasing activities has been suspended.
It seems the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has yet to clear the reporting and record-keeping required by the Interior rule. Although the department did not require a new form to be filled out, it did demand the keeping of special records.
OMB got into the picture and Interior now says if its record-keeping provisions are not approved, the rule will either be amended or revoked.