A Change of Course

The Importance to DOD of International Standards for Electronic Commerce

by Judith E. Payne, Robert H. Anderson

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The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is now implementing electronic commerce — the use of electronic documents, rather than hard-copy forms — for business transactions. Conducting business in this way requires standard formats that are acceptable both to DOD's vendors and to the hundreds of DOD sites involved. It has chosen the most commonly used standard for such transactions today: the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) X12 standard. This report presents results of a study that examined the special implications to the DOD of the international standards under development to enable electronic commerce. It presents recommendations regarding the use of standards by DOD and DOD's role in standards development.

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