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VALUE OF STANDARDS for government


a customizable Elevator Pitch
to aid you in communicating the need for a robust standards and conformance program to the executives in your Agency.

Standards and conformity assessment impact almost every aspect of life in the U.S. and are essential to a sound and innovative national economy.

Many agencies of government have a need for standards, whether as an element of the regulatory process or as a key part of procurement policy and operations. For example, if your agency focuses on trade issues, you may already be aware that standards and conformance make cross-border interoperability possible, ensuring that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.

Public-private standards development partnerships provide an opportunity for your agency members to network on issues relating to standards and to provide input on issues of specific concern to government users and participants in standards activities.

Standards development also supports critical sectors that enable US. economic security and public safety.


As an example, the Trump Administration is focused on the revitalization of American infrastructure, as part of a sweeping effort to promote job creation and grow the U.S. economy. Improvements and innovative changes to bridges, highways, the electric grid, and the nation's cybersecurity framework are dependent on contributions of the thousands of technical experts serving on standards committees, as well as the contribution of the most current codes and standards to enabling good return on investment.

Companies and industries are also leveraging standards and compliance to foster innovation in the marketplace, shortening the cycle between initial concept and global market access. Groups who are maximizing standardization activities realize that relying on previously standardized technologies, systems, and terminologies lowers overall R&D costs. The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA), with implementation document OMB Circular A119—a defining document of our nation’s public-private partnership for standardization—remains the cornerstone for promoting the use of private sector voluntary consensus standards throughout the government.

The NTTAA endorses public-private standards development partnerships to create solutions for meeting regulatory requirements that support national objectives and priorities. According to OMB Circular A119, the use of voluntary consensus standards, whenever practicable and appropriate, is intended to achieve the following goals:

  • eliminate the cost to the government of developing its own standard
  • decrease the cost of goods procured and the burden of complying with agency regulation
  • provide incentives and opportunities to establish standards that serve national needs
  • encourage long-term growth for U.S. enterprises
  • promote efficiency and economic competition through harmonization of standards
  • further the policy of reliance upon the private sector to supply government needs for goods and services

The bottom line . . .

Standards and related compliance programs help save money and improve performance, quality, safety, and reliability – whether we’re talking about the competitiveness of American industry or your own agency’s procurement processes.

For example . . .

On the case studies page, the Department of Defense tells the story of how parts and process standardization will help them save $789 million in cost avoidance over just one of their programs.

Beyond the bottom line: standards impact quality, lead-time, factory flexibility, and supply chain management.
Standardization and conformity assessment activities lead to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors, and reducing time to market.
Demonstrating compliance to standards helps your products, services, and personnel to cross borders. Standards also make cross-border interoperability possible, ensuring that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.
Businesses not only reduce the economic risk of their research and development activities by participating in standardization, they can also lower their overall R&D costs by relying on previously standardized technologies and terminologies.