|ASTM Internationals board of directors last met Oct. 19-20, 2004, at ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. The following is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings.
For further details on any of the following topics, contact ASTM President James A. Thomas, ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (phone: 610/832-9598).
2004 Finance and Audit Committee Chairman
On recommendation of the ASTM nominating committee, the board approved Rey G. Montemayor as the 2005 chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. Montemayor succeeds Gregory Saunders, who served as that committees chairman in 2004. Montemayor, chief chemist of the Quality Assurance Laboratory in the Products and Chemicals Division of Imperial Oil Ltd., Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, served on the ASTM board from 2002 to 2004.
Corporate Communications Report
Corporate Communications Director Barbara Schindler reported on communications initiatives that support ASTMs cooperative work with Chinese standards developers, including a Chinese-language information kit describing ASTM and its committees; the 2004 issue of the Chinese-language version of SN, which is produced annually in cooperation with the China Association for Standardization; and the development of a monthly column about ASTM in CASs own magazine. Other Corporate Communications products on which Schindler reported that support ASTMs global initiatives include a brochure developed in Spanish for a concrete industry conference in Colombia, dual-language ASTM membership applications, the placement of news of international interest on the ASTM Web site homepage, and the development of a brochure describing ASTMs international capabilities. In addition, an information kit for Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants was developed on the occasion of the committees 100th anniversary.
Membership Manager Ellie Barkley reported that the Society has seen a 2 percent increase in participating members. This increase is largely due to membership campaigns undertaken on behalf of various technical committees; the continuing implementation of a retention plan, which includes an automated program of member surveys; and the creation of new technical committees and subcommittees driven by the need for standards in new market sectors. The informational and organizational membership categories have declined in number in the past year. Student membership, an investment in ASTMs future, continues to see growth, with nearly 2,000 students having joined since the program was initiated in March 2003.
ASTM has developed new benefits for organizational members: an online directory of all organizational members that includes their company logos; and the opportunity for the member to display a specially designed organizational member logo on their own Web site that links to a specific page on the ASTM Web site (e.g., a specific committee page, the ASTM homepage, or a standard summary page).
In China, ASTM has signed agreements with the Shanghai Institute of Standardization and the China National Standards Institute that enable Chinese professionals to join ASTM through the SIS and CNIS offices and in their own currency. ASTM is also initiating membership campaigns in China for Committees A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys; D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants; D13 on Textiles; and D20 on Plastics.
International membership promotions are being planned for A01, C01 on Cement, C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications, D02, and D13. Each promotion will be tailored to fit the needs of each committee with regard to international participation.
Technical Committee Operations
The board approved revisions to Section 18 of the Regulations on Committee Expenses, Funds and Contracts. The revisions are itended to clarify new requirements for fund solicitation that the Board approved at the April 2004 meeting.
ASTM/NACE Pilot Project
The board also approved a recommendation from the Committee on Technical Committee Operations regarding the concept of a joint ASTM/National Association of Corrosion Engineers pilot project to develop harmonized ASTM/NACE standards.
The NACE and ASTM staffs have agreed on procedural, formatting and business issues related to conducting this program. Results of the pilot will be evaluated and a determination made about whether an expanded program will be pursued.
Robert D. Stiehler Award
Committee D11 on Rubber requested that the board grant Society recognition to the Dr. Robert D. Stiehler Award. The board approved this request.
Staff reported that an initiative is under way to evaluate individual committees to ensure that their internal operations allow them to meet the needs of the industries they serve. Assessing a committee through an evaluation provides a unique opportunity to review the committee as a whole and ensure that its internal operations provide an environment in which it can most effectively meet the needs of the industry it serves. Evaluations include reviewing the subcommittee framework, meeting strategy, membership trends, and current products. As of the date of the board meeting, staff, in concert with committee leadership, had developed evaluations and implementation plans for 35 technical committees. In addition, evaluations were at that time being developed for 20 more committees.
ASTM Outreach Initiatives
ASTM Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono reported on the following international initiatives undertaken since the last board meeting in April 2004.
ASTM, together with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute, and CSA-America will open a joint China Standards and Conformity Assessment Office in Beijing by the first quarter of 2005. See the ASTM International News section of the December 2004 issue of SN for more information.
In August 2004, ASTM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Standardization Administration of China. This MOU is the 30th signed between ASTM and a national standards body. See the ASTM International News section of the October 2004 issue of SN for more information.
Resulting from ASTMs participation in the trade capacity building component of the Central American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, ASTM is participating in six U.S. Agency for International Development-sponsored training sessions this fall. The training will focus on compliance with the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, including training on how to participate in international standards development activities.
ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates was represented at two construction-related events in Colombia in September 2004, providing an opportunity to make presentations on ASTM and C09 to a large audience of representatives from many countries in Latin America. See the ASTM International News section of the November 2004 issue of SN for more
ASTM has combined its own data with that acquired by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create a database describing the use of ASTM standards by dozens of countries. The data indicates that there are some 2,500 individual ASTM standards used by 51 countries outside of the United States as the basis of their national standards or by reference in regulation. These standards are under the jurisdiction of 109 ASTM technical committees and 675 ASTM subcommittees.
ASTM Director of External Relations Teresa Cendrowska reported on the following initiatives undertaken with the U.S. government since the last board meeting in April 2004.
Significant outreach to U.S. government agencies was being planned for the October, November, and December 2004 Committee Weeks, which were scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., including: invitations to technical contacts within federal agencies to relevant committee meetings and symposia; an executive luncheon to be held at each Committee Week; and a discussion forum for the Department of Transportation on the ASTM standards development process.
ASTM participated in a July 2004 U.S. Department of Commerce training course held for 30 of its staff involved in the international trade service. The Introduction to Standards and Conformity Assessment in Trade was conducted for experienced mid-level commercial service officers and foreign service nationals; office of domestic operations directors and trade specialists; and market access and compliance, and trade development personnel with experience in identifying and resolving trade compliance, standards, and conformity assessment issues. Kitty Kono served on a panel that discussed the role of the United States in international standards development, as well as the concept of the international standard.
When the National Institute of Standards and Technology held a meeting of stakeholders in June 2004 to discuss its mandate to coordinate the use of private sector standards by federal agencies, ASTM participated along with other U.S. standards developing organizations to help identify the most fundamental interests, concerns, and needs of the stakeholder community.
ASTM has recently been designated a U.S. Agency for International Development Private Voluntary Organization. Through the PVO program, USAID works to bring together U.S. private voluntary organizations and their in-country, non-government partners in international development efforts. //