FGDC Responds to NIST RFI on effectiveness of Federal agency participation in standardization

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) submitted a response to the Request for Information (RFI) from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on "Effectiveness of Federal Agency Participation in Standardization in Select Technology Sectors for National Science and Technology Council's Sub-Committee on Standardization" published in the Federal Register [Docket No. 0909100442-0563-02].  The RFI was published in the December 8, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 235) edition of the Federal Register with a deadline for comments of March 7, 2011.  In this RFI, NIST, on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council's Sub-Committee on Standards, invited interested parties to provide their perspectives on the effectiveness of Federal agencies' participation in the development and implementation of standards and conformity assessment activities and programs. 

The FGDC response to the RFI:

  • Emphasized FGDC’s commitment, as per OMB Circular A-119, to use voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government standards and to participate in voluntary consensus standards bodies.  Discussed standardization activities within the FGDC that are not covered by existing voluntary consensus standards bodies
  • Emphasized FGDC participation in external standards bodies, such as the InterNational Committee on Information Technology Standards Technical Committee L1 (INCITS L1), Geographic information systems, ISO Technical Committee 211, Geographic information/Geomatics, the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), and the Geospatial-Intelligence Standards Working Group (GWG) chaired by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • Made reference to the recent FGDC endorsement of 64 external standards that were either voluntary consensus standards or de facto standards that have been adopted through widespread use and implementation, and
  • Identified factors that hinder participation in public/private standardization activities and/or adoption and use of standards.

FGDC member agencies that provided input on the FGDC response included: the U.S. Census Bureau, Dept. of Commerce; Dept. of Education; Dept. of Treasury; Library of Congress; Department of Energy; National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Dept. of State; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Environment Protection Agency; and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Defense Installations Spatial Data Infrastructure.  Both the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Open Geospatial Consortium (which included input from some Federal agencies) provided responses to NIST.


Read the FGDC response to the RFI [PDF 44KB]