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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: January 20, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Intent to Terminate Selected Programs Within the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP)

SOURCE: Federal Register, January 20, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 13, page 3206

AGENCIES: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is requesting comments on whether there still exists a need to accredit laboratories for the services covered under the Protocols Program offered by NVLAP, which is comprised of the Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP) and Portable Operating Systems Interface (POSIX) areas of testing. If not, NIST will terminate the Protocols Program.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The NVLAP is addressed in Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 285, NVLAP Procedures and General Requirements.

DATES: Submit comments on or before March 20, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to Chief, National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2140, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2140, e-mail: nvlap@nist.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chief, National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, 301-975-4016.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: NIST administers the NVLAP under the regulations at 15 CFR Part 285. NVLAP provides an unbiased third party evaluation and recognition of laboratory performance, as well as expert technical assistance to upgrade that performance, by accrediting calibration and testing laboratories found competent to perform specific tests or calibrations.

NVLAP is comprised of a set of Laboratory Accreditation Programs (LAPs) which are established on the basis of requests and demonstrated need. Each LAP includes specific test and/or calibration standards and related methods and protocols assembled to satisfy the unique needs for accreditation in a field of testing, field of calibration, product, or service.

Under the NVLAP procedures, the Director of NIST may terminate a specific LAP when there no longer exists a need to accredit laboratories for the services covered under the scope of the LAP (the Director of NIST has delegated this authority to the Chief of NVLAP). A review of all NVLAP programs revealed that the Protocols Program no longer has any participating laboratories, so its continuance is impractical and financially nonviable. The Protocols Program is comprised of the GOSIP and POSIX areas of testing. Therefore, the Chief of NVLAP has determined that there no longer exists a need to continue this LAP.

After the 60-day comment period, the Chief of NVLAP will determine if there is public support for the continuation of the LAP. If there is public support for continuation of the LAP, the Chief of NVLAP will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing its continuation. If there is no public support for continuation of the LAP, it will be terminated effective 90 days after the date of the notice of intent to terminate the LAP (that is, 90 days from January 20, 2000, or April 19, 2000). If the LAP is terminated, NVLAP will no longer grant or renew accreditations under the Protocols Program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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