FIPS are standards and guidelines for federal computer systems that are developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in accordance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and approved by the Secretary of Commerce. These standards and guidelines are developed when there are no acceptable industry standards or solutions for a particular government requirement. Although FIPS are developed for use by the federal government, many in the private sector voluntarily use these standards.
Counties are uniquely identified using unique FIPS codes. For example, Latah County Idaho’s FIPS code is 16057.