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Standards – promoting quality or restricting competition?

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Published on Aug 19, 2014

"Standards – promoting quality or restricting competition?" by James Christie

James Christie argues that standards are produced by bodies with a commercial interest in seeing them adopted. He analyses the economic forces behind the creation of standards. They should be viewed as optional methods that companies can buy or reject as they see fit. Selling them as standards distorts the market by creating the impression amongst senior managers, lawyers and regulators that there is no valid, responsible alternative. James explains why the auditors and compliance professions are not lined up on the side of the standards lobby. His audit experience allows him to expose the case for standards as a spurious appeal to non-existent authority. Testers must speak out following the Healthcare.gov website fiasco. This debate is not an academic contest between rival schools of thought. It is a commercial struggle, and James provides compelling arguments against standards. Free and fair competition is at stake. Testing standards could put a massive restriction on our ability to trade and compete. This is serious business!

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