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ANSI Submits Input on Federal Involvement in Standardization to NSTC Subcommittee

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has submitted an input document on federal participation in standards and conformity assessment activities in response to a request from the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Standards (SOS).

In a December 8 Federal Register notice, the Subcommittee sought input on how federal agencies could engage more effectively in the U.S. standardization system in a manner consistent with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) and the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119.

In its role as the coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, ANSI developed a response on behalf of the standardization community. The response was informed by comments solicited and received from a broad cross-section of ANSI's membership, which includes industry, standards developers, government agencies, and conformity assessment bodies. [see related news item]

In October 2010, ANSI submitted an input document to the NSTC, Forging an Even Stronger Public-Private Partnership.

The document outlines ways that the Subcommittee can strengthen its collaboration with the private sector standardization community to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. industry, protect the environment, and assure public health and safety.

The ANSI input document affirms that standards and conformity assessment activities are inextricably linked to all facets of our national economy and are vital to the continued global competitiveness of U.S. industry. A successful public-private partnership will yield faster, technically viable, and more economically feasible standards that are more likely to be embraced and rapidly implemented than those standards that are developed under different means. ANSI's unique role within this partnership is as a neutral forum - acting as the convenor of diverse parties and sectors in a problem-solving approach that is focused on results.

The document contends that the U.S. standardization system is a profoundly democratic process that thrives on the active participation and engagement of all affected stakeholders. Our nation's public-private partnership is strong precisely because it is a true partnership, with neither government nor industry claiming or exerting overall authority.

The ANSI document articulates ways in which the ANSI federation and government can work together to further enhance the public-private partnership in support of U.S. competitiveness. In particular, the document provides input in the following areas: 1) how the U.S. standards system works today; 2) ways in which government engagement and ANSI engagement in standards activities can be improved; 3) effective coordination of cross-stakeholder standards activities; and 4) intellectual property considerations relating to the standards setting process.

Click here to read the document submitted to the subcommittee.

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Jana Zabinski

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Beth Goodbaum

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