On May 15, 2012, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) held a workshop on "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities" at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. The all-day event included several panels, including one that discussed the important policy implications of incorporation by reference. The discussion was a lively follow-up to the many comments OMB received in response to its March 30, 2012 Request for Information. Comments were originally due by March 30, 2012.
At the May 15 workshop, OMB announced that it will continue to accept comments on its Request for Information until June 1, 2012. If you are interested in federal standards policy, please submit your comments via Regulations.gov. The docket number is OMB-2012-0003. OMB is seeking information on a variety of issues related to Circular A-119, including agency participation in private standard development processes, incorporation by reference, and conformity assessment.
The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) is also continuing to accept comments on a petition requesting revisions to OFR's incorporation by reference regulations. Comments on the OFR petition are also due by June 1, 2012. To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov and search for “NARA 12-0002.” You can also submit comments by visiting the Federal Register’s website and clicking on the green button that says “Submit a Formal Comment.” Either way, your comments will appear on www.regulations.gov. Previous coverage of this ongoing proceeding is available here and here.
In related news, the video is now available for the Implementation Summit on Incorporation by Reference and International Regulatory Cooperation. The Conference co-sponsored this successful event with the Chamber of Commerce on May 1, 2012. In addition to two interesting panel discussions, the event included remarks from Cass R. Sunstein, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In his remarks, the Administrator announced the issuance of Executive Order 13609, "Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation," which is based in part on Conference Recommendation 2011-6, International Regulatory Cooperation.