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Government Reliance on Voluntary Standards and Conformance Programs Will Be the Focus of ANSI's 2013 Open Forum


All Interested Stakeholders Encouraged to Attend This Free World Standards Week Event

In an effort to bring together leaders from across the standardization community for interactive discussions and idea exchange, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold an Open Forum 2013: Government Reliance on Voluntary Consensus Standards and Conformance Programs. The free event will take place on October 2, 2013, in Washington, DC, as part of the World Standards Week series of events hosted annually by the Institute, coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system.

The Open Forum is open to all organizations involved in the development of standards, including ANSI-accredited standards developing organizations (SDOs), consortia, code developers, companies, and government agencies. Since its debut in March 2005, this annual event has addressed a broad spectrum of issues directly impacting the standard-setting community.

Following welcoming remarks from S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO, the event will begin with a keynote address from Vanessa Allen Sutherland, the chief counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)'s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Ms. Allen Sutherland will discuss the incorporation by reference (IBR) of voluntary consensus standards into government regulations, as well as the impact of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011. After her remarks, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in an interactive question and answer session on these and related topics.

The morning's program will continue with a discussion led by Mr. Bhatia on ANSI's ongoing development of a web-based portal intended to serve as an overall reference listing of IBR standards. Following Mr. Bhatia's presentation, attendees will have the chance to ask questions about the project's status and goals.

Two panel discussions will follow, providing opportunities for the sharing of broad perspectives and idea exchange. The first discussion - moderated by Brian Markwalter, senior vice president, research and standards, at ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) - will look at issues connected to the incorporation of private-sector standards into government regulations, with a focus on copyright concerns, reasonable availability, and other related topics. Emily Bremer, attorney advisor for the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), and James Shannon, president of ANSI member and audited designator the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are among the scheduled panelists.

Gordon Gillerman, director of standards services for the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC)'s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will moderate the second panel, which will examine how government agencies can effectively use voluntary consensus standards and conformance programs to meet national needs. Panelists will include:

ANSI members and all interested stakeholders including those from government, industry, business, consumer groups, and academia are encouraged to attend and share their perspectives and expertise. A full agenda is available.

Along with other World Standards Week events, the Open Forum will be held at the Newseum's Knight Conference Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. While admission is free, pre-registration is required by September 20, 2013. Online registration is available via the ANSI Open Forum web page.

World Standards Week, to be held this year on September 30-October 4, 2013, is an annual event where members of the standards and conformity assessment community come together in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. For more information, including registration for other WSW events and details on all meetings and conferences, visit


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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