The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has circulated a proposal for a new field of activity on organizational governance. As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) invites all relevant and interested stakeholders to submit comments on the proposal by the end of the business day on Friday, July 1, 2016.
According to the proposal, submitted by the British Standards Institution (BSI), "governance" may be defined as a "system by which the whole organization is directed, controlled, and held accountable to achieve its core purpose over the long term." The standardization of organizational governance includes aspects of accountability, direction, and control (which may include principles of governance, anti-bribery, conflict of interest, due diligence, whistleblowing, compliance, remuneration structures, and external reporting, among others).
A technical committee in this subject area would develop and maintain standards applicable for all organizations to improve the effective delivery of governance. Furthermore, the proposal recognizes that, although interrelated, there is an important distinction between "management" and "governance." Whereas management can be considered as the act of bringing people together to accomplish goals and objectives, and using available resources in an efficient, effective, and risk-aware manner, governance deals with the accountability of a whole organization to all of its stakeholders and helps ensure that the organization, as a whole, fulfills its purpose. Work in this area would be applicable to all types and sizes of organizations, whether large or small, public or private, listed or unlisted, not-for-profit or for-profit.
All interested stakeholders are invited to review the proposal, which includes related standards and a listing of relevant countries where the subject of the proposal is important to their national commercial interests. Please submit comments to Steve Cornish, ANSI senior director of international policy (firstname.lastname@example.org), by close of business on Friday, July 1, 2016. Based on the input received, the ANSI ISO Council (AIC) will then be asked to approve an ANSI position and comments to be submitted to ISO before its August 13, 2016, deadline for voting on this proposal.
ANSI has published an explanatory information document outlining the process used to develop U.S. positions on issues and activities under consideration by ISO and IEC.