Processing standards for the federal government are published as Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). FIPS – 197 is the Advanced Encryption Standard(AES), for example. FIPS are published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). One of their missions is to develop standards for government use when there are requirements that are not met with existing voluntary standards. As standards that are implemented throughout the government, FIPS carry enormous weight in the architecture of civilian systems, too.
The regulations relevant to these activities actually give preference to voluntary standards. Therefore, one of the responsibilities of NIST is to work with various standards committees, users, industry groups and others to get voluntary standards developed in preference to FIPS. In the development of FIPS, NIST uses the Federal Register to announce the proposed standard and then goes through a period of open comment and review before publishing the final standard.