March 2000

March SN Contents


E-mail letters to: Maryann Gorman

Government Pressure

I feel as though I must reply to Albert Batik’s assertions in his letter in the January issue. I have been a delegate to ISO committees since 1972 and have never so much as heard a hint of government pressure on how to vote. As for asking former colonies (USA would qualify) to vote with us, they would tell us in no uncertain terms where to go. What you do see from all countries is pressures from industry to influence the national vote in favor of their product. That is why we have consensus standards.

European countries do have one advantage; they have the CEN forum where they can fight out their own differences (which can be larger than with other countries) in advance of ISO. Other regional groups could do the same.

In reply to Gale Foster [in the same issue] on ISO thinking itself the sole international authority, there are other international standards bodies for different fields, the obvious example being IEC. However, there are many of us (probably a considerable majority) who do not consider ASTM, or for that matter BSI, as being international in the same sense.

Roger Brown,
Rapra Technology,
Shrewsbury UK

A Masterpiece

Concerning the article by Stephen C. Lowell entitled “The Yin and Yang of Standards Development” in the December 1999 issue of SN—I’m not surprised that it was a first-place winner in the 1999 World Standards Day competition. It is a masterpiece.

It should be required reading for everyone who becomes chairman of a committee or subcommittee.

William K. Wilson,
McLean, Va.
Subcommittee D06.20