ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Forms Homeland Security Standards Panel as Coordination Body for Private and Public Sectors

New York, Feb 05, 2003

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment systems, has announced the establishment of the Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP), a cross-sectoral coordinating body for the development and enhancement of Homeland Security and emergency preparedness standards.

ANSI established the HSSP in direct response to needs identified in the January 2, 2003, Report for Congress titled Homeland Security: Standards for State and Local Preparedness. “Neither the federal government, nor the nongovernmental sector presently has a comprehensive, consolidated program for developing new preparedness standards,” the report states. Formation of the Panel also supports the March 1, 2003, transfer of twenty-two federal agencies to the new Department of Homeland Security.

The HSSP will promote a positive, cooperative partnership between the public and private sectors. Its initial tasks will be to catalog, promote, accelerate and coordinate the development of standards in Homeland Security areas including transportation, biometrics, cyber security, and interoperability of emergency-response equipment. The HSSP will also identify and communicate to governmental units the existence of current standards that can meet urgent needs.

“ANSI is uniquely positioned to address the urgent national priorities in homeland security by facilitating the standardization efforts of the public and private sectors,” said Dr. Arden L. Bement Jr., director of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. “ANSI is the logical source in the private sector to undertake this important initiative, which complements NIST’s role to coordinate Federal activities in voluntary standards. NIST is pleased to have been asked to provide the co-chair for this very important panel.”

“This is not the first time that we have responded to calls from the government and industry when coordination challenges have presented themselves,” added Dr. George Arnold, chairman of the ANSI Board of Directors. “The HSSP is the latest example of the value that the Institute provides on behalf of the nation.”

Membership in the HSSP will include representatives of industry, government, professional societies, trade associations, standards developers, and consortia groups directly involved in U.S. homeland security standardization.

ANSI’s mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization system. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), via the U.S. National Committee. The organization has offices in Washington, DC and New York City.

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