ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Information Systems Standards Board (ISSB) Votes to Disband

IT Conference coordination to be managed by new planning committee

New York, Dec 17, 2002

The ANSI Information Systems Standards Board (ISSB), a coordination body that serves as a forum for representatives of the Information Technology (IT) sector to identify, coordinate, discuss and agree upon solutions to standards issues, has voted to disband effective December 31, 2002. A Planning Committee composed of the current ISSB members and other interested ANSI members will be established effective January 1, 2003 to plan future standards coordination conferences for the IT sector on an as-needed basis; the group will temporarily be referred to as the "Information Systems Conference Committee" (ISCC).

"Over the past several years, the role of standards boards and the entire Information Technology (IT) standards environment has changed," explained Sara Desautels, ISSB secretary. "Within the IT sector today, there is less need for coordination limited to the various ANSI-accredited standards development organizations. Today, the need is for forums within which representatives of both formal standards bodies and "non-traditional" bodies (e.g., consortia) can come together and engage in a productive dialogue."

ISSB officers and ANSI staff considered recent activities of the board, specifically noting the success of the two standards coordination conferences which were sponsored by the ISSB and co-sponsored by both traditional and non-traditional standards developers. These conferences provided a successful forum for dialogue and networking and a venue for the exchange of information and education on the different standard processes.

At the conference held in July 2002, Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards, noted in his keynote address that he supported the steps taken by the conference to strengthen the ties between the formal standards process and the consortia activities. He further stressed the importance of follow-up and he challenged the audience to exercise continuity in addressing the many challenges facing standards coordination.

Building on the accomplishments of these conferences and recognizing the changing environment of standards development in this field, ISSB members were asked to consider a formal motion that the board be disbanded and that a planning committee evolve from the current ISSB members to continue and enhance the communication between the formal and the consortia based standards interests. The motion was approved by letter ballot of ISSB members on November 18, 2002. Members of the new planning committee, in conjunction with ANSI staff, will work together to identify the need for and timing of future conferences.

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