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[802SEC] FCC folks should now be able to pay their own way

Congress Passes "ANSI Amendment" in Defense Authorization Bill Protects over 4,000 standards activities with federal participation

New York, December 14, 2001: Yesterday, the House and Senate approved the conference report on the long awaited $343 billion Department of Defense Authorization Bill (S.1438), including the "ANSI Amendment" added by the Senate, sending the bill to President Bush who is expected to sign it.

The final passage marks the successful conclusion of a nearly six-month effort initiated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), to make a legislative change to protect the ability of federal government employees to attend and participate in standards development activities. The amendment clarifies that a 1912 law prohibiting the government from paying the expenses related to an individual's attendance at meetings or conventions if they are members of a society or association does not apply when the employee is participating in agency-related standards activities.

ANSI's survey determined that over 4,000 standards committees or activities currently benefit from the active involvement of federal participants from a broad array of federal agencies. For example, the Department of Defense (DoD) lists more than 550 personnel who are involved in the standards work of over 30 standards developing organizations. The loss of DoD participation would have been devastating, both to the standards developers who rely on the expertise from DoD participation, and for DoD itself, which could have lost its ability to affect the substance of standards it uses to equip and supply the armed forces. DoD has replaced over 9,000 military specifications with voluntary consensus standards.

Nearly 50 standards developing organizations responded to ANSI's survey earlier this year, expressing strong support for the effort to change the law and prevent the loss of federal participation in standards development.

Dave Karmol, ANSI director of public policy and government affairs, thanked Counsel Jim Turner of the House Science Committee for his efforts to get the amendment added to the bill as well as Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) who co-sponsored the amendment in the Senate, and ANSI Government Members and Organizational Members who assisted in the effort to change the law.

For more information on the "ANSI Amendment," please contact Mr. Karmol at (t) 202.293.3610 or (e) [Editor's note: See also, ANSI Online News story, Senate Passes "ANSI Amendment" to Ensure Continued Federal Government Participation in Standards Development.]