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BOMA International adopts six new policy positions

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BOMA International recently added six new policy positions to its advocacy agenda.

Five of the six new policies are related to American National Standards put forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private, nonprofit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The other policy position passed deals with smart growth.

"As one of the 200 developers of standards in the U.S., our membership has a vested interest in ANSI's process for adopting new standards," said BOMA International Chairman and Chief Elected Officer David W. Hewett, RPA, CPM, CCIM, FMA, CFM, principal for Trammell Crow Co. in Auburn Hills, Mich. "We therefore put forth several new position statements regarding that process for our membership and board to consider, and we're very pleased that all were enthusiastically embraced. All were developed with the intent of improving ANSI's mission of enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. business by facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity. We're confident that by advocating for these new positions, we can help improve the process for all."

Following are highlights of the five new positions relating to ANSI:

1. Policy on Appeals on Standards: BOMA International will provide a process by which a stakeholder in a standard may make an appeal on a standard developed by BOMA International. BOMA has established this appeals process in order to demonstrate its commitment to due process in standards development, to offer an avenue by which a stakeholder may appeal a standard and to receive comments on its standards that will serve as aids in the future revision of standards.

2. Policy on Interpretation of Standards: In order to provide additional background and explanations for the Standard Method for Measuring Floor Area in Office Buildings and the Standard Method for Measuring Floor Area in Industrial Buildings, BOMA International will maintain information on its Web site on the most commonly asked questions about floor measurements standards. In addition to providing an interpretation, these inquiries help provide the basis for consideration of revision to the standard at the appropriate time.

3. Policy on the Metric System: BOMA International supports the use of the metric system and endeavors to include metric units in all BOMA publications.

4. Policy on Patents Used to Employ BOMA Developed Standards: BOMA International embraces the policy on use of patented inventions that may be required to adhere to American National Standards that has been developed and approved by ANSI.

5. Policy on Record Retention: The American National Standards process ensures that there is an opportunity for all those who are interested in and affected by a standard to participate in its development. Due process is key to ensuring that American National Standards are developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders. BOMA International recognizes that as a part of that due process the careful retention of documents is necessary and has put into place several procedures to ensure adequate record retention.

The sixth new policy adopted by BOMA's Board of Governors relates to smart growth, with BOMA's position stating: BOMA International believes that growth, conducted in an unplanned or excessive fashion, only undermines the economies and quality of life of existing urban and suburban centers. To promote the viability of both existing and proposed communities, future development must occur in a structured fashion so that it does not harm the tax base, overburden infrastructure, overwhelm the environment or imperil current municipal areas.

BOMA will call upon Congress and federal agencies that examine the issue of smart growth to address development and growth at the local level; fully fund national programs to support infrastructure; support national programs to reclaim properties for use, such as "brownfields" initiatives and Superfund reform; and always honor private property rights.

"After years of 'sprawl,' many regions are witnessing the unintended consequences of unplanned and unchecked growth, with undeveloped 'greenfields' being consumed at voracious rates, roadways being overburdened and demands for newer infrastructure continuing to mount," Hewett said. "Development policies that promote the quality of life and the quality of community have long enjoyed our support and active participation, and by adopting an official stance on this issue, we hope to continue that support even more effectively."

For a complete guide to BOMA International's advocacy platform for the coming year, the association has also published the 2006 Issues Report, which defines BOMA's positions on legislative, regulatory and codes issues, and also provides information on guidance for other industry issues such as the Patriot Act and security.

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