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OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Federal Use of Standards
AGENCY: Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the
ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments on Proposed Revision of
OMB Circular No. A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development
and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity
SUMMARY: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is revising
Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use
of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment
Activities." Public Law 104-113, the National Technology
Transfer Act of 1995 (hereinafter known as P.L. 104-113), was
passed by Congress to codify existing policies in A-119, to
establish additional reporting requirements, and to authorize the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to
coordinate conformity assessment activities of the agencies.
P.L. 104-113 was signed into law by the President on March 13,
1996. This proposed revision of Circular A-119 implements the
new law and makes certain other modifications.
DATES: Comments are requested on the proposed revisions to
Circular A-119 no later than (insert date 60 days after date of
publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER).
ADDRESSES: Direct written comments to: Information Policy and
Technology Branch, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,
Office of Management and Budget, NEOB Room 10236, Washington,
D.C., 20503. E-mail comments may be sent to: email@example.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Virginia Huth, Information
Policy and Technology Branch, Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10236
NEOB, Washington, D.C., 20503. Telephone: 202-395-3785. The
text of this proposed revision and of the current OMB Circular
A-119 are available electronically on the OMB Home page in the
documents section at /OMB. The
current version of A-119 is available in paper format by
contacting the OMB Publications Office at (202) 395-7332. To
request a fax of the current A-119, call (202) 395-9068.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 12(d) of the National
Technology Transfer Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-113, or "the Act")
codified the policies of Circular A-119. Section 12(d)(1) states
that "Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, all
Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards
that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards
bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry out
policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and
To carry out this requirement, Section 12(d)(2) states that
agencies and departments "shall consult" with those bodies and
"shall ... participate" with them in developing voluntary
consensus standards "when such participation is in the public
interest and is compatible with agency and departmental missions,
authorities, priorities, and budget resources."
Finally, Section 12(d)(3) states that, where it would be
"inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical" to
use standards that those bodies develop or adopt, an agency or
department may use other standards; however, the head of the
agency or department must send to OMB "an explanation of the
reasons for using such standards." The law states that,
beginning with fiscal year 1997, OMB will transmit to Congress
and its Committees an annual report summarizing all explanations
received in the preceding year.
This Circular provides instructions, beginning with FY 97,
for agencies to report explanations of instances in which
agencies used standards which were not developed by voluntary
consensus standards bodies. For FY 96, OMB issued a letter on
May 17, 1996, to the heads of departments and agencies notifying
them of the Act and of the new reporting requirement. For the
period March 13, 1996 (date of enactment of the Act) to September
30, 1996, any explanations that agencies have generated should be
transmitted to NIST no later than January 31, 1997, for
forwarding to OMB.
The Act's legislative history confirms that Section 12(d)
was intended to codify the Circular's policies. See 142 Cong.
Rec. H1265 (daily ed. February 27, 1996) (statement of Rep.
Morella); 142 Cong. Rec. S1080-81 (daily ed. February 7, 1996)
(statement of Sen. Rockefeller); 141 Cong. Rec. H14333-34 (daily
ed. December 12, 1995) (statements of Reps. Brown and Morella).
Accordingly, the revisions proposed to the Circular are not
intended to change the policy with respect to agencies' use of
voluntary consensus standards, but instead are intended to
conform the Circular's terminology to the Act and to increase the
Circular's clarity and effectiveness.
SUMMARY OF CHANGES:
This proposed revision incorporates the following changes:
(1) Section 5 clarifies the definitions for "agency" and
"standard." The definition for "adoption" has been replaced by a
definition for "use." The definition for "voluntary standards"
has been replaced by a definition for "voluntary consensus
standards." The definition for "voluntary standards bodies" has
been replaced with a definition for "voluntary consensus
standards bodies." New definitions for "conformity assessment,"
"impractical," "performance standard," and "technical standard"
have been added. Finally, terminology throughout the Circular
has been modified to reflect these changes.
(2) Section 6a has been revised to state that these policies
apply to all policy objectives and activities, including
procurement and regulatory activities, to clarify that these
policies do not pre-empt or restrict agencies' authorities and
responsibilities to regulate, and to clarify that agencies retain
discretion to decline to use an existing voluntary consensus
standard if the agency determines that such standard is
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.
(3) Section 6b has been modified to state that agencies are
to refrain from actively participating in standards development
committees when involvement in such committees does not clearly
relate to the mission of the agency and to avoid dominating
committee proceedings. Section 7b.6 has been modified to state
that agency support for standards development activities is not
to be contingent upon the outcome of the standards activity.
(4) Section 6c has been modified to reflect the need for
greater coordination among the federal agencies prior to their
participation on technical committees. The material in Section
7c, which provides guidance on this subject, was formerly
Sections 8b.2(a-e) and 8b.3. Some minor changes were made to
ensure consistency in terminology. Section 9c has been added in
order to make coordination of standards activities the explicit
responsibility of the Standards Executive.
(5) Section 7a.5 has been added to describe one way in which
agencies may identify voluntary consensus standards.
(6) Section 8 establishes procedures for reviewing existing
voluntary consensus standards when issuing or revising a
regulation or initiating a procurement. Such procedures provide
for public notice and comment on proposed standards and require
agencies to respond to public comment and to explain the final
(7) Section 10a establishes requirements for reporting on
exceptions to the use of voluntary consensus standards, as
required by P.L. 104-113. The reporting requirements of Section
10b, although not required by statute, have been retained. The
language has been modified to provide for coordination with the
reporting requirements in Section 10a.
(8) Section 10 directs the National Institute of Standards
and Technology to issue guidance to the agencies in order to
promote the coordination of Federal, State, and local standards
activities and conformity assessment activities with the private
sector, as required by Section 12(b) of P.L. 104-113.
Accordingly, OMB Circular A-119 is proposed to be revised as
set forth below.
Office of Information and
TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
SUBJECT: Federal Participation in the Development and Use of
Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity
Purpose. This Circular establishes policy to be followed by
agencies in working with voluntary consensus standards bodies and
in using voluntary consensus standards, in accordance with
Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement
Act (hereinafter cited as P.L. 104-113). It also implements
reporting requirements for the use of voluntary consensus
standards and addresses the role of the National Institute for
Standards and Technology (NIST) in coordinating conformity
Rescissions. This Circular supersedes OMB Circular No.
A-119, dated October 20, 1993, which is rescinded.
Background. Many standards that are developed by voluntary
consensus standards bodies are appropriate or adaptable for the
Government's purposes. The adoption of such standards, whenever
practicable and appropriate, eliminates the cost to the
Government of developing its own standards. At the same time,
Government participation in standards-related activities provides
incentives and opportunities to establish standards that serve
national needs. Moreover, harmonization of standards promotes
efficiency and economic competition, thus encouraging long-term
growth for U.S. enterprises. Adoption of standards developed by
voluntary consensus standards bodies also furthers the policy of
reliance upon the private sector to supply Government needs for
goods and services, as stated in OMB Circular No. A-76,
"Performance of Commercial Activities."
Applicability. This Circular applies to all agency
participation in voluntary consensus standards activities,
domestic and international, but not to activities carried out
pursuant to treaties and international standardization
Definitions. As used in this Circular:
a. Agency means any executive department, independent
commission, board, bureau, office, agency, Government-owned or
controlled corporation or other establishment of the Federal
Government, including any regulatory commission or board, except
for independent regulatory commissions insofar as they are
subject to separate statutory requirements regarding the use of
voluntary consensus standards. It does not include the
legislative or judicial branches of the Federal Government.
b. Conformity assessment means any procedures used
directly or indirectly to determine if relevant requirements in
technical regulations or standards are fulfilled. The activities
which are commonly termed "conformity assessment" include product
testing, inspection and/or certification, including self-certification; accreditation of testing and calibration
laboratories; and management system registration (for both
quality and environment). Conformity assessment procedures
include: sampling, testing and inspection, evaluation,
verification and assurance of conformity, laboratory
accreditation (for both testing and calibration), registration
accreditation, and approval.
c. Impractical, with respect to an agency's decision not
to use an existing voluntary consensus standard, includes
circumstances in which such use would demonstrably fail to serve
the agency's program needs; would be infeasible; would be
unnecessarily duplicative, inadequate, inefficient, or
inconsistent with agency mission; or would impose more burdens,
or would be less useful, than the use of another standard.
d. Performance standard means a standard that states
requirements in terms of required results with criteria for
verifying compliance but without stating the methods for
achieving required results. A performance standard defines the
functional requirements for the item, the environment in which it
must operate, and interface and interchangeability
characteristics, while a design standard specifies design
requirements, such as materials to be used, how a requirement is
to be achieved, or how an item is to be fabricated or
constructed. "Performance standard" is a subset of "standard" as
defined in section 5f. of this Circular.
e. Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or that
f. Standard (or "technical standard," as found in P.L.
104-113), as used in this Circular, means: (1) common and
repeated use of rules, conditions, guidelines or characteristics
for products or related processes and production methods; (2) the
definition of terms; classification of components; delineation of
procedures; specification of dimensions, materials, performance,
designs, or operations; measurement of quality and quantity in
describing materials, products, systems, services, or practices;
or descriptions of fit and measurements of size; (3) "performance
standard" as defined above; or (4) "non-government standard",
which is defined as a standardization document developed by a
private sector association, organization or technical society
which plans, develops, establishes or coordinates standards,
specifications, handbooks, or related documents. The term does
not include professional standards of personal conduct,
institutional codes of ethics, or standards issued by individual
companies. It also does not include standards created under
other legal authority, such as those contained in the United
States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary, as referenced in
21 U.S.C. 351. A "Standard" may also be a "voluntary consensus
standard," as defined below, or it may be what are commonly
referred to as "industry standards" or "de facto standards,"
which are developed by industry associations which do not always
adhere to the full consensus process.
g. Technical Standard, as used in this Circular, is
synonymous with "standard." Examples of technical standards
include, but are not limited to, size and strength
specifications; technical performance criteria for a product,
process, or material; test methods; procurement guidelines;
sampling procedures; business practices; management systems;
definitional standards; and installation safety codes.
h. Use means (i) use of the latest edition of a standard
in whole, in part, or by reference for procurement purposes, and
(ii) the inclusion of the latest edition of a standard in whole,
in part, or by reference in regulation(s).
i. Voluntary consensus standards are standards developed
or used by voluntary consensus standards bodies, both domestic
and international, and which are made available in a manner which
includes provisions requiring that owners of relevant
intellectual property have agreed to make that intellectual
property available on a non-discriminatory, royalty-free or
reasonable royalty basis to all interested parties. A "Voluntary
consensus standard" may also be known in common usage as a
"voluntary standard," a "consensus standard," or a "consensus
j. Voluntary consensus standards bodies are domestic or
international organizations which plan, develop, establish, or
coordinate voluntary standards using agreed-upon procedures. For
purposes of this Circular, "voluntary, private sector, consensus
standards bodies," as cited in P.L. 104-113, is an equivalent
term. These bodies may include nonprofit organizations, industry
associations, accredited standards developers, professional and
technical societies, institutes, committees, task forces, or
working groups. P.L. 104-113 and this Circular encourage the
participation of government representatives in these bodies to
increase the likelihood that the standards they develop will meet
both public and private sector needs. A voluntary consensus
standards body observes principles such as openness, balance of
interest, and due process. Further, voluntary consensus
standards bodies operate by consensus, which is defined as
general agreement, characterized by the absence of sustained
opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the
concerned interests. Consensus requires that all views and
objections be considered and that an effort be made toward their
Use and Development of Voluntary Consensus Standards.
a. Agencies shall use existing voluntary consensus
standards, both domestic and international, in their regulatory
and procurement activities as a means of carrying out policy
objectives or activities determined by the agencies, unless use
of such standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or
otherwise impractical. Agencies shall use such voluntary
consensus standards for test methods, procurement guidelines,
management systems, sampling procedures, or protocols to
determine whether established regulatory limits or targets have
been met. This requirement does not preempt or restrict agencies'
authorities and responsibilities to make regulatory decisions
authorized by statute. Such regulatory authorities and
responsibilities include determining the level of acceptable
risk; setting the level of protection; and balancing risk, cost,
and availability of technology in establishing regulatory
standards. Agencies retain discretion to decline to use existing
voluntary consensus standards if the agency determines that such
standards are inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise
b. Agencies shall consult with voluntary consensus
standards bodies and shall participate with such bodies in their
development and adoption of voluntary consensus standards when,
in the determination of the agencies, participation is in the
public interest and is compatible with their missions,
authorities, priorities, and budget resources. Agency
representatives shall refrain from actively participating in
voluntary consensus standards bodies or their committees when
involvement does not relate to the mission of the agency. In all
cases, agency representatives shall ensure that the agency's
influence does not dominate proceedings.
c. Agencies shall coordinate their participation in
voluntary consensus standards bodies so that: (1) the most
effective use is made of agency resources and representatives;
(2) the views expressed by such representatives are in the public
interest and, at a minimum, do not conflict with the interests
and established views of the agencies; (3) the positions among
agencies serving on the same technical committees are consistent
with administration policy; and (4) agency technical and policy
positions are clearly defined and known in advance to all federal
participants on a given committee.
Guidelines. In implementing the policy established by this
Circular, agencies should recognize the positive contribution of
standards development and related activities. When properly
conducted, standards development can increase productivity and
efficiency in Government and industry, expand opportunities for
international trade, conserve resources, improve health and
safety, and protect the environment. It also must be recognized,
however, that these activities, if improperly conducted, can
suppress free and fair competition; impede innovation and
technical progress; exclude safer and less expensive products; or
otherwise adversely affect trade, commerce, health, or safety.
Full account in carrying out this policy shall be taken of the
impact on the economy, applicable Federal laws, policies, and
national objectives, including, for example, laws and regulations
relating to antitrust, national security, small business, product
safety, environment, metrication, technological development, and
conflicts of interest. The following guidelines are provided to
assist and govern the agencies' use of, and participation in the
development and adoption of, voluntary consensus standards.
a. Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards.
(1) In the interests of promoting trade and
implementing the provisions of the Agreement on Technical
Barriers to Trade and the Agreement on Government
Procurement (commonly referred to as the Technical Barriers
to Trade (TBT) Agreement and the "Procurement Code,"
respectively) of the World Trade Organization, international
standards (standards developed and/or adopted by
international voluntary consensus standards bodies) should
be considered in procurement and regulatory applications.
(2) In using voluntary consensus standards, preference
should be given to standards based on performance criteria
when such criteria may reasonably be used in lieu of design,
material, or construction criteria.
(3) Voluntary consensus standards used by agencies
should be referenced, along with their dates of issuance and
sources of availability, in appropriate publications,
regulatory orders, and related in-house documents. Such use
should take into account the rights of copyright holders and
other similar obligations.
(4) Agencies should not be inhibited from developing
and using government standards in the event that voluntary
consensus standards bodies cannot or do not develop a
needed, acceptable standard in a timely fashion. Nor should
this Circular be construed as committing any agency to the
use of a voluntary consensus standard which, after due
consideration, is determined by the agency to be
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.
(5) Voluntary consensus standards may be identified
through databases of standards maintained by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or by voluntary
consensus standards bodies.
b. Participation in Voluntary Consensus Standards Bodies.
(1) Participation by knowledgeable agency employees in
the standards activities of voluntary consensus standards
bodies, both domestic and international, should be actively
encouraged and promoted by agency officials when consistent
with P.L. 104-113 and this Circular.
(2) Agency employees who participate in standards
activities of voluntary consensus standards bodies shall do
so as specifically authorized agency representatives.
Agency representatives shall refrain from actively
participating in standards development committees when
involvement in such committees does not relate to the
mission of the agency. Agency participation in voluntary
consensus standards bodies does not necessarily connote
agency agreement with, or endorsement of, decisions reached
by such organizations.
(3) Agency representatives shall participate in such
bodies' development of voluntary consensus standards that:
(i) will eliminate the necessity for development or
maintenance of separate Government standards; and
(ii) will further such national goals and objectives as
increased use of the metric system of measurement;
environmentally sound and energy efficient materials,
products, systems, services, or practices; and public
health and safety.
(4) Agency representatives serving as members of
voluntary consensus standards bodies should participate
actively and on an equal basis with other members. In doing
so, agency representatives should not seek to dominate such
groups. Active participation includes full involvement in
discussions and technical debates, registering of opinions
and, if selected, serving as chairpersons or in other
official capacities. Agency representatives may vote, in
accordance with the procedures of the voluntary consensus
standards body, at each stage of standards development
unless prohibited from doing so by law or their agencies.
(5) The number of individual agency participants in a
given voluntary standards activity should be kept to the
minimum required for effective presentation of the various
program, technical, or other concerns of Federal agencies.
(6) Agency support provided to a voluntary consensus
standards activity shall be limited to that which is clearly
in furtherance of an agency's mission and responsibility.
Agency support shall not be contingent upon the outcome of
the standards activity. Normally, the total amount of
Federal support should be no greater than that of all other
participants in that activity, except when it is in the
direct and predominant interest of the Government to develop
or revise a standard and its development or revision appears
unlikely in the absence of such support. The form of agency
support, subject to legal and budgetary authority, and
availability of funds, may include:
(i) direct financial support; e.g., grants, sustaining
memberships, and contracts;
(ii) administrative support; e.g., travel costs,
hosting of meetings, and secretarial functions;
(iii) technical support; e.g., cooperative testing
for standards evaluation and participation of agency
personnel in the activities of voluntary consensus
(iv) joint planning with voluntary consensus standards
bodies to facilitate a coordinated effort in
identifying and developing needed standards; and
(v) participation of agency personnel.
(7) Participation by agency representatives in the
policy-making processes of voluntary consensus standards
bodies, in accordance with the procedures of those bodies,
is encouraged -- particularly in matters such as
establishing priorities, developing procedures for
preparing, reviewing, and approving standards, and
developing or adopting new standards. In order to maintain
the independence of such organizations, however, agency
representatives should refrain from involvement in the
internal management of such organizations (e.g., selection
of salaried officers and employees, establishment of staff
salaries and administrative policies).
(8) This Circular does not provide guidance concerning
the internal operating procedures that may be applicable to
voluntary consensus standards bodies because of their
relationships to agencies under this Circular. Agencies
should, however, carefully consider what laws or rules may
apply in a particular instance because of these
relationships. For example, these relationships may involve
the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C.
App. I), or a provision of an authorizing statute for a
c. Coordination of participation in voluntary consensus
standards bodies and standards activities. Agency Standards
Executives, designated under section 9c., shall coordinate agency
participation in voluntary consensus standards bodies. This
coordination shall include, but need not be limited to:
(1) establishing procedures to ensure that agency
representatives participating in voluntary consensus
standards bodies will, to the extent possible, ascertain the
views of the agency on matters of paramount interest and
will, at a minimum, express views that are not inconsistent
or in conflict with established agency views; and will, to
the extent possible, ensure that the agency's participation
in voluntary consensus standards bodies is consistent with
(2) ensuring, when two or more agencies participate in
a given voluntary consensus standards body, that they
coordinate their views on matters of paramount importance so
as to present, whenever feasible, a single, unified position
and, where not feasible, a mutual recognition of
(3) cooperating with the Secretary in carrying out
his/her responsibilities under this Circular;
(4) consulting with the Secretary, as necessary, in
the development and issuance of internal agency procedures
and guidance implementing this Circular, including the
development and harmonized implementation of an agency-wide
directory identifying agency employees participating in
standards developing groups;
(5) submitting, as described in section 10, in
response to the request of the Secretary, a report on
exceptions to the use of existing voluntary consensus
standards and a report on the status of agency standards
policy activities; and
(6) reviewing their existing standards within five
years of issuance of this Circular, and at least once every
five years thereafter, and replacing through applicable
procedures those for which an adequate and appropriate
voluntary consensus standard can be substituted.
a. When issuing or revising a regulation, agencies shall
review for use existing voluntary consensus standards. Such
review shall include:
(1) A request for comment within the preamble of a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Such request shall
(i) when an existing voluntary consensus standard
is being proposed for use, a statement which identifies
such standard, as well as the identity of any
alternative voluntary consensus standards which may
have been identified and/or considered, and an
explanation of why the proposed standard should be
(ii) when the agency has determined to not propose
for use an existing voluntary consensus standard, a
statement which identifies such standard, provides a
preliminary explanation for why such standard would not
be used, and invites the public to comment and to
explain why such standard or an alternative voluntary
consensus standard should be used; or
(iii) when no existing voluntary consensus
standard has been identified, a statement which invites
the public to identify such voluntary consensus
standards and to explain why such standard should be
(2) A discussion in the preamble of a Final Rulemaking
that restates the discussion in the proposed rule,
acknowledges and summarizes any comments received and
responds to them, and explains the agency's final decision.
The final rule shall provide:
(i) when an existing voluntary consensus standard
is being used, a statement that identifies such
standard and any alternative voluntary consensus
standards which have been identified;
(ii) when an existing voluntary consensus standard
is not being used, a statement that identifies such
standard and explains why such use would be
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise
(iii) when no existing voluntary consensus
standard has been identified, a statement to that
(b) When initiating a procurement, agencies shall consider
using existing voluntary consensus standards.
(1) Where the solicitation is for products that
incorporate government-unique standards, the solicitation
shall include a statement which identifies the standards to
be used and provides offerors an opportunity to suggest
alternatives in the nature of existing voluntary consensus
standards that meet the government's requirements. Where
such suggestions are made and do not result in a replacement
of government-unique standards by existing voluntary
consensus standards, the agency shall explain why such use
is inconsistent with law or otherwise impractical.
(2) Where the solicitation is for commercial, off-the-shelf products, or for products that rely on existing
voluntary consensus standards, or for products that do not
rely on government-unique standards, the requirement in
subsection (1) above shall not apply.
a. The Secretary shall:
(1) coordinate and foster executive branch
implementation of this Circular and may provide
administrative guidance to assist agencies in implementing
(2) continue the Interagency Committee on Standards
Policy (ICSP), chaired by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), in order to consider their
views and to advise the Secretary and agency heads in the
(3) as described in section 10, report to the Office
of Management and Budget (OMB), with the assistance of NIST,
concerning implementation of the policy provisions of this
(4) establish procedures for agencies to use when
developing directories described in paragraph 7c(4) and
establish procedures to make these directories available to
b. Heads of Agencies shall:
(1) Implement section 6 of this Circular in accordance
with the guidelines in section 7 and the procedures in
(2) In the case of an agency with significant interest
in the use of standards, designate a senior level official
as the Standards Executive who shall be responsible for
agency-wide implementation of this Circular and who shall
represent the agency on the ICSP.
c. The Standards Executive's responsibilities shall
include, but not be limited to, those described in section 7c.
a. Agency Reports on exceptions to use of existing
voluntary consensus standards. As required by P.L. 104-113,
beginning for fiscal year 1997 and every fiscal year thereafter,
agencies shall report to OMB, through NIST, no later than
December 31 of the following fiscal year, any decisions by the
agency during that fiscal year to use a government-unique
standard in lieu of an existing voluntary consensus standard,
along with an explanation of the reason(s) why use of such
standard would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise
impractical, as described in sections 8a.(2)(ii) and 8b.(1) of
b. Agency Reports on Standards Policy Activities. To
assist OMB in its reporting to Congress, beginning for fiscal
year 1996 and every fiscal year thereafter, agencies shall submit
information to OMB, through NIST, on the status of agency
interaction with voluntary consensus standards bodies, no later
than December 31 of the following fiscal year. Such reporting
shall include the nature and extent of agency participation in
the development and use of voluntary consensus standards,
(1) the number of voluntary consensus standards bodies
in which there is agency participation;
(2) the number of voluntary consensus standards the
agency has used since the last report which have come about
as a result of the requirements set forth in sections 8a.
and 8b. of this Circular;
(3) identification of voluntary consensus standards
that have been substituted for other standards as a result
of an agency review under paragraph 7c(6) of this Circular;
(4) an evaluation of the effectiveness of the
guidelines in section 7 and recommendations for any changes;
c. No later than January 31 of the following fiscal year,
NIST shall transmit to OMB such explanations as are received
under section 10a. and a summary report of the information
received under section 10b.
Conformity Assessment. Section 12(b) of P.L. 104-113
requires NIST to coordinate Federal, State, and local standards
activities and conformity assessment activities with private
sector standards activities and conformity assessment activities,
with the goal of eliminating unnecessary duplication and
complexity in the development and promulgation of conformity
assessment requirements and measures. To ensure effective
coordination, NIST shall issue guidance to the agencies.
Policy Review. This Circular shall be reviewed for
effectiveness by the OMB three years from the date of issuance.
Inquiries. For information concerning this Circular,
contact the Office of Management and Budget, Office of
Information and Regulatory Affairs: Telephone 202/395-3785.