CRE’s white paper discussing the revised federal standards policy, An Updated Look at the Federal Policies Governing How Agencies Use Voluntary Consensus Standards in Regulatory, Procurement, and Science Documents is here. The Final Revision of OMB Circular A-119 is available here. OMB’s Federal Register notice is here. CRE’s white paper on federal regulatory preference for consensus and market-driven consortia standards is here. Below are excerpts from Revised A-119.

Revision of OMB Circular A-119. OMB is revising this Circular in light of developments in regulation, standards, and conformity assessment since the Circular was last revised in 1998. These revisions reflect the experience gained by U.S. agencies in implementing the Circular since 1998, and concluding and implementing U.S. trade agreements, as well as developments in domestic and international regulatory, standards, and conformity assessment policies.


Discussion and Responses to Significant Comments

Based on OMB’s consideration and responses to these public comments, as well as developments in regulatory, standards, conformity assessment, and trade policy described above, the revised Circular A-119:


  • provides guidance to agencies on what factors to consider when incorporating standards by reference in regulation;

  • requires agencies to utilize the retrospective review mechanism set out in Executive Orders 13563 and 13610, to ensure, among other things, that regulations incorporating standards by reference are updated on a timely basis;***

  • maintains a strong preference for using voluntary consensus standards over government unique standards in Federal regulation and procurement.