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United States National Committee Constituency Workshop Provides IEC Updates


New York, Oct 09, 2002

The United States National Committee (USNC) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) held its annual Constituency Workshop at Edison Electric Institute in Washington, DC on September 23rd. The USNC serves as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-sponsored and U.S. electrotechnical industry-supported interface with its international parent organization the IEC. The workshop comprised over 40 participants from industry, government agencies, and standards developing organizations. The group focused on issues and topics identified during a survey of Technical Advisors (TA) and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) information needs conducted earlier this year.

The program began with Mr. Jack Sheldon, Technical Information and Support Manager, providing an overview and update on the ISO/IEC Directives, which provide the procedural rules to be followed by ISO and IEC committees in the development and maintenance of International Standards and other ISO or IEC deliverables, and the rules for the structure and drafting of these documents. In addition, Mr. Sheldon reviewed in detail the various stages of the international standards development process and timelines for each stage. A majority of the discussion with Mr. Sheldon delved into the different types of deliverables IEC has to offer, and he also provided the group with an update on the implementation of IEC Masterplan 2000.

Mr. Tim Rotti, IEC Technical Officer, followed his colleague's presentation with a review of his responsibilities within the IEC Regional Center in Boxborough, MA. This office, created by the IEC Council earlier this year, is mostly dedicated to serving TC/SC Secretariats in North America. Mr. Rotti reviewed the numerous committees under his responsibility and provided a brief overview of how the office operates.

Frank K. Kitzantides, USNC vice president-technical and vice president-engineering at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and Charlie Zegers, ANSI international policy program director and USNC general secretary, gave an overview of the structure and operations of the USNC, as well as the progress of the implementation of the U.S. National Standards Strategy.

The second half of the Workshop addressed topics concerning specific USNC business matters. Mr. Kitzantides reviewed the current structure of the Committee, discussed issues surrounding the global relevance of IEC standards, regional and international cooperation and coordination, and various IEC conformity assessment activities. James Matthews, USNC vice president-finance, provided updates on the current financial policies of the USNC as well as statistical updates on the financial picture and the 2003 budget.

As Mr. Kitzantides, explained, "Our aim is to increase international efforts to strengthen U.S. participation in IEC, both in the standards and conformity assessment areas. Well-trained U.S. representatives will help to increase our [U.S.] value as an IEC member body, while enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. businesses and improving the quality of life of citizens and workers around the globe."

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