This Memorandum provides guidance to agencies with respect to their engagement in standards activities that have been identified as national priorities either through executive branch or Congressional actions. For example, "[a]gencies considering a convening or active engagement role in private sector standards developing organizations in order to address a national priority area should state their reasons plainly (including why private sector leadership alone is insufficient). Further, agencies should accept and act on feedback on their rationales before assuming this convening or active-engagement role in a private sector standards developing organization.
In all cases, agencies should ensure effective intra- and inter-agency coordination of engagement in standards development activities. When an agency commits to a cooperative standards development effort with industry, that commitment should be maintained, as resources permit, and the resulting standards should be used where feasible. Agencies should use existing processes and, where necessary, establish new processes for open, transparent, and effective two-way communication with private sector interests, ensuring that concerns from private sector entities are given thorough and objective consideration.
To the extent feasible and appropriate, agencies should also provide continuous support for their technical experts' participation and leadership activities in mission-critical standards-setting activities and standards organizations, including standards organization-specific training and mentoring. Agencies should periodically review their standards activities to identify gaps in representation for mission-critical areas as part of their long-range planning and adopt policies that value and reward participation in standardization activities.
- NISTIR 8074, at 5.