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OMB Circular A-119

As an ASTM member representing the mission of a U.S. government research and development laboratory, I was interested in Jeff Adkins’ article on “How to Increase U.S. Government Participation in ASTM Standards Development Activities” [July SN]. I was surprised that Office and Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 was not mentioned in the article. This executive branch directive, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities” describes policies on federal use and development of voluntary consensus standards and on conformity assessment activities.

The circular states “Agencies must consult with voluntary consensus standards bodies, both domestic and international, and must participate with such bodies in the development of voluntary consensus standards when consultation and participation is in the public interest and is compatible with their missions, authorities, priorities, and budget resources. ... Agency support may include (1) Direct financial support; e.g., grants, memberships, and contracts. (2) Administrative support; e.g., travel costs, hosting of meetings, and secretarial functions. (3) Technical support; e.g., cooperative testing for standards evaluation and participation of agency personnel in the activities of voluntary consensus standards bodies. (4) Joint planning with voluntary consensus standards bodies to promote the identification and development of needed standards. (5) Participation of agency personnel.”

Alerting colleagues in your technical area, who are government employees, to this directive may provide strong rationale for management or program support of ASTM participation by representatives of the government organization. As long as the government entity mission relates to the technical area of a particular ASTM committee, expert government employee participation may cost-effectively foster the development of new and improved standards supporting today’s fast changing technologies.

(Note: The interview by Paul S. Gill, following Mr. Adkins’ article, makes reference to the circular with respect to NASA involvement in ASTM activities.)

Daryl Myers
National Renewable Energy
Laboratory MS 3411
Member, ASTM Committees G03 on Weathering and Durability and E44 on Solar, Geothermal, and Other
Alternative Energy Sources

Best Wishes

Many thanks for Cicely Enright’s piece in the June issue on John Weaver and his long career with Committee D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications. I’ve known and admired him for almost 50 years, during which time he has occasionally provided some advice to Committee E12 on Color and Appearance as well. You could have devoted the entire issue to him and still have had to omit a few items. Best wishes, John.

Nick Hale
Hale Color Consultants
Naples, Fla.
Member, ASTM Committee E12 on Color and Appearance

Spanish Articles on Web Site

It is really nice to be able to find information of this kind in Spanish. [Spanish translations of selected SN articles are available at the SN Web site.] You are not only facilitating that information to the Spanish speaking community residing in the United States, but also in Latin America. I congratulate you for a great job and for your interest in sharing your expertise.

Esther Camaño
Office of Infrastructure R&D
McLean, VA 22101

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