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ANSI Submits Feedback on Proposed Revision of OMB Circular A-119

5/06/2014
ANSI News

The Circular Provides Important Guidance on Federal Participation in Standardization Activities and Government Use of Standards

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has submitted comments on proposed updates to White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities." Circular A-119 and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 instruct U.S. federal agencies to consider using private-sector voluntary consensus standards instead of government-unique standards whenever possible.

The OMB first announced that it was planning to revise the circular in 2012, in light of significant developments related to voluntary consensus standards that followed the last update of the document in 1998 [see related story]. About 70 organizations, including ANSI, submitted comments in response to OMB's 2012 request for feedback [see related story].

In its role as the coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, ANSI developed a response on behalf of the standardization community. The response was informed by comments solicited and received from a broad cross-section of ANSI's membership, which includes industry, standards setting organizations, government agencies, and conformity assessment bodies.

ANSI's response is broadly supportive of the planned updates to OMB Circular A-119. In its comments, ANSI affirms that standards and conformity assessment activities are inextricably linked to all facets of our national economy and are vital to the continued global competitiveness of U.S. industry. In addition, ANSI acknowledges the U.S. government's position as one of the biggest user of standards and the major importance of its continued participation in the standards development process.

ANSI's full comments are available online.

ANSI encourages individual organizations to submit their own comments regarding the proposed revision of OMB Circular A-119. Please be aware that all responses must be submitted via the U.S. government's www.regulations.gov portal or faxed to 202-395-5167 no later than Monday, May 12, 2014. All direct comments received by the government in connection with this call for feedback will be posted publicly.

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