Standard administrative codes identify code version or flag exceptions to standard edits. Pooled data collected from multiple sources over a period of years require some method of identifying which codes were applied to those data. Sometimes codes are reviewed by splitting old code values into multiple new ones, and adding new categories, but often old codes take on new meaning. Both types of code change affect data distribution, and refined codes obviously affect code interpretation.
Standard administrative items permit communication about the nature of the data in a form that can be interpreted by a computer program. Although administrative items are not an obvious component of a data set that serves the needs of any particular standard setter, they are valuable parts of shared or exchanged data. Some administrative items can be added by the registry computer program as cases are entered; others can be added automatically when data are written to exchange records. However, the registrar must manually add others, such as edit override flags.