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ANSI Government
Outreach Activities

Introduction

Guided by the ANSI Board of Directors and informed by the ANSI National Policy Advisory Group, ANSI’s public policy and government affairs activities are intended to enable access and information exchange among the standards community and public-sector leaders, agencies, and legislators. The Government Member Forum serves as a focal point for discussion of government standards and conformity assessment interests as they relate to ANSI and our members.

Public Policy

In collaboration with organizations across sectors, ANSI works to foster understanding of the major role standards play in the international and domestic marketplace and the contribution the standards and conformity assessment communities make to the economy and the public as a whole. Informed by the work of the National Policy Advisory Group, ANSI develops public policy positions on issues that concern the standards community.

ANSI works with its members to create outreach programs to legislators, to increase understanding of the private-sector standards community among agencies involved in trade and commerce issues, and to provide testimony when requested by legislative committees. Through these efforts, we provide background information on ANSI the U.S. standardization system, clarify our roles in domestic and international standards development, and promote understanding of the American National Standards (ANS) process.

Government Affairs

ANSI advocates greater use of voluntary consensus standards by government agencies as well as broader participation by agency personnel in standards development. Today, nearly every agency of government has a need for standards, whether as an element of regulatory regime or as a key part of procurement policy and operations. In fact, one important value of voluntary standards is that they aid the government in tackling its mandate to ensure public safety and health.

ANSI facilitates this trend and maintains a close relationship with our government members through the Government Member Forum (GMF), which is made up of representatives from a variety of state, local and federal agencies. The GMF provides an opportunity for government members to network on issues relating to standards and to provide input on issues of specific concern to government users and participants in standards activities.

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Standards Incorporated by Reference (IBR-ed) in Regulations

The government uses voluntary consensus standards in a variety of ways, including to establish internal procedures, aid in developing regulations for public safety and welfare, and improve the efficiency of the procurement process. When adopting a voluntary consensus standard into a regulation, federal agencies are permitted to incorporate the standard by reference – that is, without publication of the standard itself – in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

For a standard to be incorporated by reference or “IBR-ed,” the agency must determine that the standard is “reasonably available” to the class of persons affected by the anticipated regulation. “Reasonably available” simply means that the standard is accessible to any potential user. It does not require that the standard be available without a fee.

Standards do not lose their copyright protection just by being referenced, and they can be made reasonably available in a number of different ways. For example, some standards developing organizations make certain IBR-ed standards available on an online, read-only site – like the ANSI IBR Portal. And many others make standards available at reasonable prices, at discounts, or without charge to consumers, policymakers, and small businesses. There is not one single way to make standards reasonably available.

Access ANSI’s IBR Portal

Staff Contact

Mary Saunders

Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy

Phone:
202.331.3610

Email:
msaunders@ansi.org

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