An Updated Look at the Federal Policies Governing How Agencies Use Voluntary Consensus Standards in Regulatory, Procurement, and Science Documents

9 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2016

See all articles by Bruce Levinson

Bruce Levinson

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

Voluntary consensus standards are a salubrious antidote to the pervasive cynicism about public institutions; the consensus standards process demonstrates that industry, civil society, academia, and government benefit the world by working together through a stable, sustained, and voluntary framework. This document provides an overview of the policies which govern participation by Executive Branch agencies in the development and use of voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment activities. Also examined is the nuanced federal approach to standards which are not developed in accordance with consensus procedures. Although these “market-driven consortia” standards are often developed by industry for industry, this type of standard can be of use to federal agencies in scientific, procurement, and regulatory applications.

The policies discussed below reflect the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs’ (OIRA) January 2016 update to OMB Circular A-119 which was revised to better serve America’s economy in an increasingly interdependent world.

Keywords: OIRA, ANSI, OMB Circular A-119, NIST, voluntary consensus standards, market-driven consortia, regulation, procurement, science

Suggested Citation

Levinson, Bruce, An Updated Look at the Federal Policies Governing How Agencies Use Voluntary Consensus Standards in Regulatory, Procurement, and Science Documents (June 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2799318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2799318

Bruce Levinson (Contact Author)

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness ( email )

1601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009
United States

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