Created by a law passed in 1983, the Parliamentary Office for Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options works well upstream of the legislative process with the aim of informing and enlightening decisions made in Parliament and strives to present its work in such a way that it can be directly used for legislative work or budgetary debates.
The Office is a joint delegation of the two assemblies, consisting of eighteen deputies and eighteen senators, selected in such a way as to ensure proportional representation of the different political groups. Matters can be referred to the Office by the bureau of either assembly, either at the request of the chairman of a political group or at the request of 60 deputies or 40 senators, or by a special or permanent commission. The submission of matters to the Office is restricted to Members of Parliament, and they alone can decide whether or not it is worthwhile to start a programme of study on a given subject.
The Office is assisted in its work by a Scientific Committee made up of 24 leading people chosen for their expertise in scientific and technical fields. OPECST assists the French Parliament in many ways: by issuing short scientific and technology briefings, drafting reports on complex and sometimes touchy issues with the aim of anticipating parliamentary debate, conducting public hearings to stimulate debate on a wide range of topical issues, organizing symposiums to deepen information of Parliament.
OPECST - Office Parlementaire d´Evaluation
Chairperson: Mr Pierre HENRIET, Deputy
First Vice-Chairperson : Mr Gérard LONGUET, Senator