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National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995
[Public Law (PL) 104-113]
On March 7, 1996, President Clinton signed into law "The National Technology
Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995." The new law, referred to as PL 104-113,
serves to continue the policy changes initiated in the 1980s under Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 (OMB A-119), Federal Participation
in the Development and Use of Voluntary Standards, that are transitioning the
Executive branch of the Federal Government from a developer of internal standards
to a customer of external standards. Section 12, "Standards Conformity," of the act
states that "...all Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards
(defined as "performance-based or design-specific technical specifications and
related management systems practices") that are developed and adopted by
voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a
means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies
and departments." The act further states that "...Federal agencies and departments
shall consult with voluntary, private sector, consensus standards bodies, and shall ...
participate with such bodies in the development of technical standards."
Because DOE had already adopted the guidance of OMB A-119 in its policy documents
on technical standards (i.e., Order 1300.2/1300.2A and DOE P 251.1), the new law
complements the existing processes and procedures of the Technical Standards Program.
DOE is a recognized leader within the Federal Government on technical standards
management programs. However, there are actions that have been or are being taken by
the Technical Standards Program Office (TSPO) to fully implement the new law. These actions include the following:
- The TSPO has issued a revision (dated June 1, 1997) to the Technical Standards Program Procedures
(TSPPs) to reference PL 104-113 and strengthen the project screening process (TSPP-2)
to promote development of voluntary standards in lieu of DOE technical standards.
- The proposed revisions to DOE Order 1300.2A (i.e., DOE O 252.1) and its
implementation guide (G 252.1-1) that were discussed at the recent TSMC
meetings are being updated to include appropriate references to PL 104-113
and the pending revision to OMB A-119.
- Discussions are being held with the Department Standards Committee and
Directives Systems management to advise them of the new public law and its impact
on standards management activities within DOE.
These actions, and others being taken, are described in a September 19, 1996 memorandum
from the Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health (EH-1) on PL 104-113.
PL 104-113 is a true shift in the paradigm for many Federal agencies regarding the
conduct of their technical standards activities. Where DOE, in its continued transition
to a "work smart", standards-based operating culture, identifies the need for new or
revised technical standards, PL 104-113 compels us to focus all technical standards
development efforts deemed necessary toward voluntary standards in lieu of DOE
technical standards. The Technical Standards Program is and will continue to be
an important element of DOE's overall strategy to effect this new operating culture.
If you would like to receive additional information on PL 104-113, please contact me.
- Jeff Feit, Manager
- DOE Technical Standards Program
- Office of Nuclear Safety Policy and Assistance, HS-21
- (301) 903-0471, FAX (301) 903-6172
- E-mail Jeff Feit
This page was last updated on
January 31, 2012