Key Documents of Interest
As coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is pleased to offer the following
key documents of interest.
A one-stop site that aggregates background information and news on key issues of
interest to the standardization community, this resource is meant to empower
ANSI members and stakeholders through shared information and messaging. It is
also meant to clearly present the Institute’s positions on key issues, and
offer members and stakeholders the opportunity to take freely from these texts
in developing responses and/or position papers for their own organizations.
|ANSI Response to Federal Register Notice on OMB
Circular A-119 (June 2012)
A March 30 Federal Register
notice from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) invited
public input on OMB's consideration of whether and how to supplement
Circular A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and
Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.”
Given the importance of this issue, ANSI developed a consensus response on behalf of the standardization community, which was submitted on June 1, 2012.
ANSI's response is available for all stakeholders to reference and utilize as appropriate.
|ANSI Response to Federal Register Notice on
Incorporation by Reference (June 2012)
On February 27, 2012, an Office of the Federal Register (OFR)
notice called for public comment on a petition filed by a group
of academics to amend the National Archives and Records Administration’s
(NARA’s) regulations governing the approval of agency requests to
incorporate by reference (IBR) materials into the Code of Federal Regulations.
This issue impacts the standards community in a number of key ways, especially
with respect to defining the “reasonable availability” of voluntary
consensus standards that have been incorporated into regulation.
Given the importance of this issue, ANSI developed a consensus response on behalf of the standardization community, which was submitted on May 31, 2012.
ANSI's response is available for all stakeholders to reference and utilize as appropriate.
|ANSI Response to Inquiry from Congressman Gordon
In October 2009, Congressman Bart Gordon, chair of the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on Science and Technology,
issued an e-mail inquiry concerning standards and the standardization
system. The survey was issued to a number of companies and associations asking
them for their views on four specific questions:
How important are technical standards to companies like yours?
Do you think a comprehensive review of our standards-setting process is timely
With the globalization of technology development and business, is it time to
assess an international standards system developed 50 years ago?
As you know, the administration’s recent 60-day cybersecurity review recommends
a single point in the federal government to coordinate our government’s
position on international cyber standards. Should the Committee examine this
issue, a single federal coordinating point, for all technical standards areas?
As coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, ANSI
developed a response with input from members of the Executive Committee. The
Institute’s final response was submitted to Congressman Gordon’s office on
November 12, 2009.
|Survey on U.S. Standards Policies
On March 16, 2009, Don Purcell of The Center for Global Standards Analysis
issued an e-mail survey concerning the roles of the private and public
sectors in the development of private sector global technology standards. The
survey was conducted with the knowledge and blessing of Mike Quear, staff
director of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and
Technology, Subcommittee for Technology and Innovation.
In specific response to Mr. Purcell’s two-question survey, ANSI staff developed
a proposed response on behalf of the Institute with input from members of the
Following a comment period and a letter ballot, ANSI’s response was accepted by
the National Policy Committee (NPC) on May 26, 2009. The final ANSI survey
response was submitted to Mr. Purcell on May 29, 2009.
Mr. Purcell issued the final survey report on August 22, 2009, which included
responses from ANSI and twenty-seven other organizations.
Review the final
survey report issued by the Center for
Global Standards Analysis ( .pdf )
response to the survey (
.pdf / .doc
Read the ANSI
Online news item about
|Definition of “Open Standards”
The term “open standard” has been used recently by some to describe a standard
that may be copied, used, and distributed for no fee and/or whose embedded
technology is irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis. This definition
has created some confusion among standards developers and users generally
because it is contrary to the process-based definition of “open” and “openness”
long held by ANSI and many other recognized standards bodies who understand the
term to describe a collaborative, balanced, and consensus-based approval
process for the promulgation of domestic or international standards.
This traditional definition is in alignment with the policies of the
International Organization for Standardization, the International
Electrotechnical Commission, and Annex 4 of the Second Triennial Review of the
World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement.
In an effort to offer guidance to the standardization community regarding
appropriate use of the term “open” when used to describe a standards
development process, ANSI is pleased to offer the following background
ANSI IPRPC Critical Issue Paper
In May 2005, ANSI published a Critical Issue Paper that was developed and
approved by the Institute’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee
(IPRPC). Entitled “Current Attempts to Change Established Definition of ‘Open’
Standards,” the paper asserts that ANSI and many U.S.-based developers of
voluntary consensus standards have used the terms “open” or “openness” to
characterize a process that has certain important features. These include:
consensus by a group or “consensus body” that includes representatives from
materially affected and interested parties;
broad-based public review and comment on draft standards;
consideration of and response to comments submitted by voting members of the
relevant consensus body as well as by the public;
incorporation of approved changes into a draft standard; and
availability of an appeal by any participant alleging that due process
principles were not respected during the standards-development process.
At a meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents in March 2009,
the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) expressed strong support for the
private-sector led and public-sector supported U.S. standards system and for
the use of standards developed through an open and consensus-based process.
Specifically, the document from the USPTO outlined the benefits of open
standards, and the USPTO stated “the United States supports and strongly
encourages the use of open standards, as traditionally defined, that is, those
developed through an open, collaborative process, whether or not intellectual
property is involved.” (Emphasis added)
The document goes on to say that “Open standards can improve interoperability,
facilitate interactions ranging from information exchange to international
trade, and foster market competition.”
Critical Issue Paper, “Current Attempts to Change Established Defition of
‘Open’ Standards” (.pdf / .doc)
Read the ANSI
Online news item about
the USPTO’s support of open standards (April 14, 2009)
USPTO statement before the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of
Patents (March 25, 2009)
|Federal Register notice:
“Executive Order on Federal Regulatory Review”
On February 26, 2009, the Director of the White House
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a Federal Register
FR 5977) inviting public comments on how to improve the process and
principles governing regulation. OMB will take these comments into account as
it develops a set of recommendations to the President for a new Executive Order
on Federal Regulatory Review.
In his request to OMB, the President stated that the recommendations should
offer suggestions for the following:
The relationship between the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
(OIRA) and the agencies;
Disclosure and transparency;
Encouraging public participation in agency regulatory processes;
The role of cost-benefit analysis;
The role of distributional considerations, fairness, and concern for the
interests of future generations;
Methods of ensuring that regulatory review does not produce undue delay;
The role of the behavioral sciences in formulating regulatory policy; and
The best tools for achieving public goals through the regulatory process.
ANSI developed a response to the request and submitted comments on March 16,
2009. Chiefly, the Institute’s comments underscored the effectiveness of the
consensus-based, public-private partnership approach and called for the ongoing
effective cooperation of government and industry. The response also cited the National
Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), as recognized
by OMB Circular A-119, as an excellent example of how the public-private
partnership is already working to meet and exceed the public policy goals
described in the Federal Register notice.
|Brochures and Other Reference Documents
Key Issues Impacting Global Standardization and Conformance: Today and Tomorrow
This white paper from the ANSI International Policy Committee examines
standards and conformance issues impacting the ability of U.S. industry to
conduct global trade. According to the paper, the expansion of global trade is
increasingly important to the growth of the U.S. economy and to the continued
revitalization of the American workforce. As the technical underpinning of many
products and services, standards play a critical role in removing barriers to
trade, enforcing free trade agreements, and expanding foreign markets for U.S.
products, services, and personnel.
Power of Standardization
Every time we plug in a cell phone, turn on the television, or hit “send” on an
email, standards are at work. And yet, for those outside of the standards
community, standards and conformance activities can seem complicated and
Power of Standardization illuminates the role of standards in
our everyday lives. The document gives the complete A-Z on standards: what they
are, who creates them, and why they are so important to our everyday world.
Should standards be free? What if they are incorporated by reference into
federal legislation, rules, or regulations? Should people have to pay for “the
The ANSI white paper,
Why Voluntary Consensus Standards Incorporated by Reference into Federal
Government Regulations Are Copyright Protected, examines the
copyright implications of incorporating of voluntary consensus standards by
reference into regulation. The document is intended to educate U.S. standards
developers, government officials, and other stakeholders about the importance
of copyright in standards.
United States Standards Strategy serves as a statement
of purpose and ideals resulting from a reexamination of the principles and
strategy that guide how the United States develops standards and participates
in the international standards-setting process. It provides a framework that
can be used by all interested parties to further advance trade issues, and a
vision for the future of the U.S. standards system in today’s globally
United States Conformity Assessment Principles document
articulates the principles for U.S. conformity assessment activities that the
consumer, buyers, sellers, regulators and other interested parties should be
aware of to have confidence in the processes of providing conformity
assessment, while avoiding the creation of unnecessary barriers to trade.
Overview of the U.S. Standardization System will provide
a greater understanding of the U.S. Voluntary Consensus Standardization and
Conformity Assessment Infrastructure.
Change Is Built on a Foundation of Strength brochure.
American National Standards – Value of the ANS Designation brochure
ANSI Reporter –
Special Feature on the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
ISO brochure: –
Today’s state-of-the-art global solutions for CEOs
Effective representation in the international standards arena is critical to
ensuring that the U.S. competes on a level playing field. The
Guide for U.S. Delegates to Meetings of the IEC and ISO provides
information and advice to committee participants representing the United States
at meetings of the these organizations. Topics discussed include standards
development processes and procedures, effective negotiation skills, and much
Through a series of questions and answers and examples of actual situations
played out in the standards arena, the
American Access to the European Standardizations Process
provides an overview of how U.S.-based interested parties can effectively
influence and have impact upon European standardization activities while
promoting a mutual understanding.