Standardization is used to a great extent as an aid within the public sector. Standards and standardization provide a cornerstone on which society’s demands with respect to safety, efficiency and sustainable development can rest. Standards also help define public procurement processes more clearly and make them transparent for both government and local authorities and suppliers.
SIS functions as a neutral forum that enables all of society’s various interests to participate and influence standards. Representatives of companies, industrial organizations, research institutes and the public sector sit around the same table to draft guidelines that are of crucial significance to the specific area. When the standard already has broad support from the start, this further enhances its impact on and acceptance by those who will be affected and will use it.
When those of you who work in the public sector – such as within public administration or a regional or county authority – participate in the standardization process, you can influence and drive development in line with your assigned tasks and responsibilities. Apart from the possibility of influencing forthcoming guidelines, this type of cooperation offers all participants a chance to acquire new expertise, develop new contacts and exchange insights. This exchange of experience is considerable at the international level, given that around 95 percent of all new standards are either European or global.
One topic addressed in the Swedish Government paper “The Impact of Standardization in a Globalized World” is the degree of the State’s commitment and undertakings in the field of standardization. The paper also notes that standardization provides an excellent tool for promoting development at the national, EU and global level. We here cite this extract:
“Standardization is a key horizontal instrument for competitiveness and is highly important within areas such as product safety and sustainable development. Participation in and influence over the drafting of standards is essential to ensure that society’s demands on safety, efficiency and sustainable development are met.”
The commitment of Sweden’s public administration to the national, European and international standardization process is extensive and highly varied. Standardization is widely used in support of public sector activities. Public sector commitment to standardization is decisive in ensuring that Sweden maintains an effective level of standardization.
This public sector commitment may be formulated thus:
- responsibility for standardization that effects the exercise of public authority and
- responsibility for establishing priorities to promote competitiveness, employment and sustainable development, and to draw attention to instances where other States pursue political or commercial policies that may be in conflict with Swedish interests.”
Standardiseringens betydelse i en globaliserad värld (The Impact of Standardization in a Globalized World) Government paper 2007/08:140