ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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IT Community Responds to "Market Expectations" Regarding Accessibility of Voluntary Standards

New York, Feb 14, 2002

In an effort to further promulgate the accessibility and usage of voluntary standards emanating from the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee One (ISO/IEC JTC 1), ISO and IEC have launched a one-year trial promotion on a suite of more than 100 of the committee's documents.

Lisa Rajchel, secretariat of JTC 1 and ANSI's program director for international secretariats, said, "This special trial by the information technology community will help to promote the availability of JTC 1 standards to a broader audience and increase their awareness globally. By making these documents more affordable, and thus more accessible, we hope to aid in the promulgation of voluntary consensus standards."

According to Keith Brannon, ISO's chief technical program manager for JTC 1, an additional goal is to "investigate potential commercial models for offering ISO/IEC JTC1 standards," which could include a price structure based not on the number of pages, "but…driven by market expectations."

Many of the documents included in the ISO/IEC initiative have previously been adopted by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, as American National Standards (ANS). Since the late 1990's, INCITS has offered these national adoptions of international documents at reduced prices in order to expand the market of these IT standards and to make them more widely available.

"The U.S. was a strong supporter of the market trial," noted Rajchel. "The fact that these JTC 1 standards are being offered in an electronic format and at a very reasonable fee corresponds to Goal 8 of the U.S. National Standards Strategy (NSS) which calls upon the U.S. standards community to improve the standards process 'to address customer needs for efficiency.'"

The JTC 1 and INCITS documents are available electronically from ANSI's Electronic Standards Store (ESS). On completion of the trial, a newly formed ISO/IEC Market Trial Project Team will study the results and opinions gathered, and deliver its recommendations to the ISO and IEC Councils in the first half of 2003.

ISO/IEC JTC1 is focused on standardization in the field of Information Technology (IT). It develops, maintains, promotes and facilitates IT standards required by global markets meeting business and user requirements concerning: design and development of IT systems and tools; performance and quality of IT products and systems; security of IT systems and information; portability of application programs; interoperability of IT products and systems; unified tools and environments; harmonized IT vocabulary; and user friendly and ergonomically designed user interfaces.

Established in 1947, ISO's mission is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

Founded in 1906, the IEC is the global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. The IEC was founded as a result of a resolution passed at the International Electrical Congress held in St. Louis, MO in 1904. Its membership consists of more than 60 participating countries, including all the world's major trading nations and a growing number of industrializing countries.

INCITS is the forum of choice for information technology developers, producers and users for the creation and maintenance of formal de jure IT standards. INCITS is accredited by, and operates under rules approved by, ANSI. These rules are designed to ensure that voluntary standards are developed by the consensus of directly and materially affected interests

ANSI Focus on Services Standards