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Rights to appeal in the
American National
Standards Process

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Appeals to the sponsoring ANSI-Accredited
Standards Developer (ASD)

All ANSI-Accredited Standards Developers are required to offer a procedural appeals process, as stipulated in Essential Requirements 1.8 and 2.8.1

Specifically, prior to final submittal by the ASD to ANSI of evidence of procedural compliance in support of the approval of a candidate standard as an ANS, unresolved objectors (public review commenters and voters) must be notified in writing by the standards developer of their right to file a procedural appeal with the standards developer related to the candidate standard.

Appeals to ANSI

Participants who are unable to resolve their concerns informally and then via the standards developer’s appeals process may also file an appeal with the appropriate ANSI program oversight committee, as stipulated in Essential Requirements 2.8.2

Over 240 organizations have been accredited by ANSI, bound by ANSI's Essential Requirements and procedures.

Appeal of the approval of ANS

Interested parties may comment and object in writing to a particular candidate American National Standard project at the PINS stage; however, the ANSI Essential Requirements do not require that there be a right to appeal an issue at that early stage. Later, when a draft standard is subjected to public review in ANSI Standards Action and through the ASD's other publication mechanisms, and consensus body vote, all directly and materially interested parties have the opportunity to submit written comments to the sponsoring ANSI-accredited standards developer. Such votes and comments must be reviewed and objections must be responded to in writing in accordance with a developer’s accredited procedures and the ANSI Essential Requirements.

Appeals to the ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR) are related to procedural issues only. The ANSI BSR does not evaluate appeals related to the technical content of a standard; however, the BSR does consider whether technical issues were afforded due process. (The BSR also does not hear appeals related to standards approved as ANS by Audited Designators; such complaints are adjudicated by the ANSI Executive Standards Council (ExSC).)

If the ANSI BSR approves a candidate standard as an ANS, then those on record as having concluded a procedural appeal at the standards developer level are notified by ANSI of their right to file a procedural appeal with the ANSI BSR.

Useful Tips

  • Such an appeal is only an option in response to the BSR’s approval or disapproval decision, i.e., there is no mechanism for filing an appeal with the BSR prior to their approval or disapproval of a standard as an ANS.
  • Once a standard is approved as an ANS and notification of such is provided by ANSI to participants with standing to appeal, as stated above, a 15-working-day appeals filing period takes effect. An extension of the filing deadline may be granted for cause if the requested extension is submitted in writing to the Secretary of the ANSI BSR prior to the expiration of the appeals filing deadline date, which is 15 working days from the date of notification of the BSR's decision to approve or not
  • All appeals filed with the ANSI BSR are heard via an in person hearing before a panel of ANSI BSR members.
  • A $1200 filing fee applies.
  • In addition to the ANSI appeals process, a “withdrawal for cause” process exists in connection with ANS, as determined by Essential Requirements 4.2.1.3.4
See section 4.2.1.3.4

Typically, an appeal to the ANSI ExSC of a standards developer’s accreditation is made within 15 working days of notification of the ANSI ExSC's decision to accredit (or reaccredit). This is because those who commented during the accreditation application process are notified by ANSI of their right to appeal the ExSC’s decision. However, an appeal by a materially affected party of a developer's accreditation status including their procedures and the implementation of them may be made at any time. Generally the ANSI ExSC's expectation is that such an appeal would only be filed after some attempt by both parties to articulate and address an objector's concerns has been made and documented. Except in the case of Audited Designators, all appeals filed with the ANSI ExSC are heard via an in person hearing before a panel of ANSI ExSC Members.

Appeals decisions issued by the ANSI ExSC (accreditation-related appeals, Audited Designator complaints) and by the ANSI BSR (ANS approval or denial decisions) may be finally appealed to the ANSI Appeals Board. The ANSI Appeals Board process, governed by the Appeals Board Operating Procedures, has three phases:

  1. A preliminary determination via letter ballot by the ANSI Appeals Board as to whether or not a prima facie case has been made that the lower level decision (BSR or ExSC) is clearly erroneous;
  2. If the appellant is successful in making the prima facie case, the next step is the scheduling of an in-person hearing; and
  3. If an in-person hearing is held and a written decision is issued, an opportunity for either party to request a reconsideration of that written decision exists.
  • All ANSI appeals hearings are conducted similarly.
  • ANSI’s General Counsel attends all appeals hearings. Typically hearings are conducted in person; however, they may be heard via teleconference, virtually, or by written submission.  
  • Parties submit written documentation in accordance with established deadlines and the applicable procedures, and that documentation is shared with all parties and the Panel in advance of the hearing. Parties may select up to three speakers of their choosing, without restriction, to address the Panel. No verbatim transcription or recording of hearings is permitted. Hearing attendees must be identified in advance of the hearing.
  • At a hearing, each party is afforded thirty minutes in total to present and may reserve any portion of that time for rebuttal. Speakers are not permitted to make assertions about facts or issues not in the record. The Panel then engages in an unlimited question-and-answer period, followed by Executive Session, during which time the Panel deliberates on the appeal.
  • A verbal decision is not issued on the day of the hearing, rather a written decision is issued following the hearing.

Useful tips

  • More guidance is available American National Standards (ANS)-Related Appeals Process Guidance
  • Once an appeals decision has been issued, it is not subject to further interpretation by the adjudicating body or by ANSI staff.
  • The Secretary to the ANSI ExSC, ANSI BSR, or ANSI Appeals Board is the contact point for appeals.
  • A filing fee of $1200 applies to all appeals, complaints, and withdrawal for cause requests filed with ANSI. This fee may be waived or reduced upon sufficient evidence of hardship.
  • Conflict of interest procedures apply to all level and types of appeals to ANSI. Each ANSI oversight committees' operating procedures (see respective links above) include a section covering conflict of interest procedures - make sure to review.
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