Well it doesn't work like that. Aside from the show-stopping law that severely limits the U.S. government from creating data standards, there are practical reasons for the government to demure.
First, most data standards fail. They are either never finished, or they are immediately ignored by the intended user community, or they are replaced by competing standards that cover the same data domain, or they eventually become so obsolete that they are abandoned. There's very little reason for the government to become embroiled in efforts that typically fail.
Second, standards often impose significant implementation costs on the user community. As discussed in earlier blogs, standards can be encumbered by intellectual property, requiring users to pay license fees or patent royalties for the uses of the standard. Also, the standard may benefit some users and hurt others. If a standard benefits the members of the committee that created the standard at the expense of members of the user community who were excluded from the standards development process, lawsuits from allegedly injured users may result. SDOs are aware that, unless their standards are created fairly, the SDO (and its entity members) may be vulnerable to prosecution under the RICO Act.
Why would the government want to get involved in this kind of mess?
As discussed in a prior blog, there are instances when the functionality of standards can be achieved with specifications. The flexibility and freedom of specifications reduces many of the problems inherent in standards. Methods for developing specifications as an alternate to standards, have been described in a draft white paper and will be will be the subject of future blogs.
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