Standards-Related Barriers to Trade
new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce
released on May 18 makes more than 50 recommendations
reducing standards-related trade barriers and calls
for broader collaboration across government and
with U.S. industry to prevent technical obstacles
impede U.S. exports.
and related technical regulations affect an estimated
80 percent of world trade,” Commerce Secretary
Donald L. Evans told an audience of industry and
representatives. “The recommendations in
this report can improve how we tackle standards-related
issues that distort trade and undermine our competitiveness.”
the face of intensifying global competition, neither
industry nor government can be complacent about
standards-related issues,” said Under Secretary
for Technology Phil Bond. “The Secretary’s Standards Initiative
emphasizes best practices, provides critical education and training, expands
our early warning
tools, and creates greater collaboration with industry and government.
Collectively, these actions will go a long way towards an effective rapid
when standards become trade barriers.”
new report, Standards and Competitiveness—Coordinating
for Results, also summarizes key industry standards
issues in international markets.
Some of this information was gathered from more than 200 industry associations
standards organizations in 13 industry roundtables convened over the
report seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness
of the Department’s
standards-related programs and policies. Its recommendations will help
the Department identify new opportunities and
better ways to work with the private
other U.S. government agencies on standards-related issues.
March 2003, Evans launched the Department of Commerce
Standards Initiative, an eight-point plan that
responds to industry concerns
standards, redundant testing and compliance procedures, and regulatory
red tape are
becoming one of the greatest challenges to expanding exports.
report can be accessed at http://www.technology.gov.
Security Certification Guidelines for IT Systems
National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) recently published guidelines on the security
certification and accreditation of federal information
systems. NIST Special Publication 800-37, Guide
for the Security Certification and Accreditation
of Federal Information Systems, is one of
several key documents being developed by NIST to
the implementation of the Federal Information Security
Management Act (FISMA) of 2002.
The new guidelines provide a standardized approach
for assessing the effectiveness of the management,
operational and technical security controls in an information
system. In addition, they can aid management officials
in making a determination about the acceptable level
of risk to an agency's operations and assets brought
about by the operation of that system.
NIST Special Publication 800-37 will be used in conjunction
with the new mandatory security standard, Federal Information
Processing Standard Publication 199, Standards
for Security Categorization of Federal Information
Information Systems, and NIST Special Publication 800-53,
Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information
Systems (currently in draft), to help improve the security
posture of federal agencies and their information systems.
security certification and accreditation guidelines
are applicable to all federal information systems other
than those systems designated as national security
systems as defined in FISMA. Federal agencies are required
to conduct security certification and accreditation
in accordance with standing policy from the Office
of Management and Budget. State, local and tribal governments,
as well as private-sector organizations comprising
the critical infrastructure of the United States, are
encouraged to consider the use of these guidelines,
Special Publication 800-37 is available from NIST’s
Computer Security Resource Center at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications.
A complete description
of the NIST FISMA Implementation Project also is available