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ANSI and NIST Sign New Memorandum of Understanding


On April 29, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) President and CEO S. Joe Bhatia and U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Walter G. Copan signed a new ANSI-NIST Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU reconfirms the need for a coordinated national approach to support the development of the best possible standards, as reflected by the United States Standards Strategy adopted by ANSI on December 8, 2005, and updated and re-approved on December 2, 2015.

The signing ceremony provided an occasion for a brief look back at the longstanding partnership between ANSI and NIST – going back to the founding of the American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC), ANSI’s predecessor, in 1918, when NIST was known as the Bureau of Standards, but first formalized in a 1995 MOU between ANSI and NIST.

In the quarter-century since, the ANSI-NIST relationship and the two organizations’ critical roles in the U.S. and global economy have evolved to keep pace with technological, industrial, and societal advancements that depend upon an increasingly responsive and flexible standardization system. Today, the underpinning framework of globally recognized standards and conformity assessment procedures is more important than ever to both private-sector and government stakeholders.

The 2019 MOU outlines both ANSI’s and NIST’s important responsibilities in standardization, and recognizes the value of the public-private partnership between ANSI and the federal government. Its overarching purpose is to facilitate domestic communication and coordination among both private- and public-sector parties in the United States on voluntary standards and conformity assessment issues and promote effective federal agency participation in the voluntary standards–setting process.

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