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NIST Seeks Industry and Government Input on Proposed Projects

Outcomes Can Engender Increased Support for the U.S. Standards Community

New York, May 22, 2002

With a dual goal of strengthening relationships between U.S. public- and private-sector interests and among participants within the global standards and conformity assessment community, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a call for input and participation from members of the ANSI Federation on two separate projects: the Standards in Trade Workshops and an Impact Study on the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA).

Solicitation of Recommendations for Standards In Trade (SIT) Workshops.

In the spirit of information sharing, facilitating international trade and increasing the development of globally-accepted standards that are compatible with U.S. technology and programs, recommendations are requested for new Standards in Trade (SIT) Workshops covering specific sectors and targeted countries or geographical regions of the world.

A major objective of the SIT workshops is to provide training and familiarize foreign standards officials with U.S. technology and practices in metrology, standardization and conformity assessment. Additional workshop goals are: to describe and understand the roles of the U.S. Government and the private sector in developing and implementing standards; and to develop professional contacts as a basis for strengthening technical ties and enhancing trade. Prospective workshops may be scheduled for one or two week periods and cost-sharing offers [with NIST] are encouraged.

Recommendations shall identify, among other items, the anticipated benefit for trade and market access, proposed foreign participants and U.S. stakeholders.

All recommendations must be submitted by July 31. For more information, please contact Libby Parker at the NIST Standards Services Division. The SIT Workshops are a major activity of the Global Standards and Information Group (GSIG).

NTTAA Impact Study Members of the ANSI Federation are also invited to comment on a proposed project to identify and assess the nature of benefits that have been accrued to federal agencies as a result of the NTTAA (P.L. 104-113). The primary objective of the Impact Study is to better define benefits derived from implementation of the Act, which calls for increased federal agency use of voluntary consensus standards, and to estimate the magnitude of this impact on federal agencies in economic and other ways.

NIST is specifically requesting input in the following areas:

Comparative cost information - the cost of developing or updating voluntary consensus standards in specific areas relevant to regulation or procurement.
Existence or creation of incentives and opportunities for SDOs and their members to establish standards that serve agency needs.
Evidence of increased efficiency in the development of standards in support of regulation or procurement needs.
Case studies and/or anecdotal evidence of benefits of use of voluntary consensus standards in lieu of agency-unique standards in regulation or procurement actions.

In an email to members of the ANSI Organizational Member Council (OMC) sent earlier this week, Dr. Mark Hurwitz, ANSI president and CEO, encouraged the Institute's members to support participation in the study. "The outcomes can engender increased support for the efforts of the standards and conformity assessment community," he stated.

Specifically, NIST is requesting that ANSI members indicate their interest in participating in the study, as many of the organizations will have first-hand information that will benefit the nature of the project.

Signed into law in March 1996, the NTTAA directs NIST to coordinate with other Federal agencies as well as state and local governments to achieve greater reliance on voluntary standards and lessened dependence on in-house standard; encourages participation in voluntary consensus standards bodies when compatible with missions, authorities, etc. and calls for NIST to coordinate Federal standards and conformity assessment activities with those of the private sector.

For more information on commenting on and participating in the NTTAA Impact Study, please contact Mary Saunders, Chief of the Standards Services Division at NIST.

[Editor's Note: Please refer to the links in the left sidebar for additional information about the Standards in Trade (SIT) workshops and the NTTAA Impact Study.]

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