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NIST Workshop on ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Brings in Worldwide Expertise

The National Institute of Standards and Technology and ASME International are collaborating with other stakeholders, including ASTM International, the American Petroleum Institute, Hartford Steam Boiler, and the American Boiler Manufacturers Association to offer a workshop on the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. The workshop will be held Sept. 9–13 in Hollywood, Fla., in conjunction with ASME Code Week. The workshop will bring together government and private sector representatives from seven countries in the Americas. Technical experts and decision makers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela will discuss the development of boiler and pressure vessel rules and their adoption into local law. Trends among regulatory bodies and the industrial sector regarding operation, maintenance and the continued safe operation of pressure equipment and pipelines will also be explored. The workshop is open to participation by interested parties at no cost, on a space available basis. An attendance form must be submitted to NIST in order to participate. Contact Libby Parker, NIST (phone: 301/975-3089).

Bill Enhancing Anti-Trust Protection for SDOs Offered in Congress

Proposed legislation with strong bi-partisan sponsorship from the House Judiciary Committee enhances anti-trust protection for standards developing organizations (SDOs) and simplifies the process to file advance notices of proposed research and development projects with the U.S. Justice Department. Introduced on May 24th, the Standards Development Organization Advancement Act of 2002 (H.R. 4849) makes changes to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993 (NCRPA). NCRPA allows two or more companies to avoid the risk of treble antitrust damages, by pre-filing a notice with the Justice Department, disclosing the names and addresses of the companies and the scope of their joint project. If approved, H.R. 4849 would make clear that the protection available to companies engaged in joint research projects, when a proper filing is made with the Justice Department, is also available to a standards developer and the participants in a standard developing activity. In addition, the bill specifies a simplified filing process with the Department of Justice for SDOs sponsoring voluntary consensus standards activities. At the same time, it would make clear that anti-competitive activity, such as sharing of price or cost information, or allocation of markets, remains illegal irrespective of the existence of a standards project.

New Services Database for Exporters

Find World Trade Organization consolidated schedules of commitments and most-favored-nation exemptions by country, sector, and mode of supply in the new WTO Services Database covering members to December 1999. Links are also provided to services schedules for new members since Jan. 1, 2000.

ASME Announces Standards Technology Institute

ASME International (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) has formed the ASME Standards Technology Institute to assist ASME codes and standards committees in the development, dissemination, and maintenance of technically relevant codes and standards. The Institute will offer research and technical support throughout the entire developmental phase of the standards process. It will also identify opportunities for partnering and establishing joint arrangements with technical organizations around the world.

Standards That Make a Difference Survey

The American Standards National Institute (ANSI) has launched “Standards That Make a Difference,” an online survey that allows ANSI’s members and constituents the opportunity to single out a standard or family of standards they believe to be “most valuable” and identify how these standards relate to business or consumer issues. Highlighting those standards that significantly benefit consumers or business acts as a vehicle to bring additional awareness and publicity of the important work being done by the standards community. To participate, log on to the survey site, or follow the links from the home page to the Standards that Make a Difference Survey.

Promotions at NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently promoted four members of its standards team to new positions within its Technology Services unit. Mary Saunders has replaced Belinda Collins as the director of the Office of Standards Services (OSS). Formerly chief of OSS’s Global Standards and Information Program, Saunders is now responsible for administering OSS programs in Laboratory Accreditation, Technical Standards Activities, Global Standards and Information, as well as the implementation of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995.

Belinda L. Collins, the director of the Office of Standards Services since 1994, has been promoted to deputy director of Technology Services, a unit that supports the NIST Laboratories in delivering Standard Reference Materials®, Standard Reference Data and calibrations; in developing formal partnerships with collaborators from industry and elsewhere; and by providing a variety of specialized information services.

As the new chief of the Global Standards and Information Program Carmina Londoño will lead the program in its mission to provide technical information related to standards and support Federal agencies and industry through a number of research programs and technical initiatives.

JoAnne Overman has moved from her position as head of the National Center for Standards and Certification Information to important new responsibilities for implementing the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act. //

Copyright 2002, ASTM