The two-hour event yielded a productive discussion that included more than 30 in-person participants from the ANSI National Policy Committee (NPC) and more than 85 who joined by webinar. Moderated by Mary McKiel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards executive and chair of the NPC, attendees discussed their thoughts on the need for more effective agency engagement with the private sector, materials that the private sector could provide to assist in the NSTC's goals, and desired outcomes of the subcommittee's work.
"The private sector standards and conformity assessment community has had countless examples of cooperation and interaction with public sector agencies," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO. "Many of these have met with great success, and in others there has been room for improvement. ANSI has the ability to bring people together and facilitate cooperation both domestically and internationally. With our shared experiences we can offer suggestions that will improve the processes and the outcomes of our collaboration."
Attendees addressed a number of possible issues and suggestions that can be offered to the subcommittee. Topics of discussion included intellectual property rights, participation in international standards development, complications with cross-sector and cross-agency initiatives, the need for real-time information on government engagement in standardization, and continued and meaningful engagement of the public sector in private sector standards development and conformity assessment activities.
ANSI is now welcoming written feedback from all interested stakeholders as the Institute compiles comments and suggestions received. Commenters are welcome to submit their thoughts on any topic related to the new NSTC subcommittee. Some preliminary questions include:
Should the government re-commit to greater involvement in private sector standards creation activities, including the delegation of government representatives to participate in the work of private-sector led standards development?
What role, if any, can the U.S. government play in matters involving intellectual property rights and standards?
How can we best continue the public/private partnership and interactions via various forums?
What are some specific successful or non-successful examples of government engagement in private-sector standardization activities and/or reliance on private sector-led solutions?
Written comments may be submitted before Friday, June 4, 2010 to Liz Neiman, ANSI director of communications and public relations (email@example.com).
The Institute will consider all comments received by the June 4 deadline as it develops a report to submit to the NSTC.
"This gathering resulted in a very informative and thorough discussion of the issues facing this new subcommittee," said Bhatia. "With the contributions of our attendees, we were able to identify some productive ways for the subcommittee to work closely with the private sector to meet its goals. ANSI looks forward to continuing engagement with our constituents as we develop a response for the NSTC."