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NIST updates organization of Scientific Area Committees for forensics guidelines

Changes aimed at making standards available to forensic labs more quickly


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has updated the structure of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC).

The improvements to OSAC’s processes are aimed at streamlining the procedures to make high-quality, science-based standards available to forensic laboratories, including for biometrics such as fingerprints and DNA.

A new scientific area committee (SAC) will also be added to the Organization, focusing on forensic medicine and the separation of the chemistry SAC into two SACs.

Moreover, it will now be possible to form interdisciplinary committees to address topics that span multiple traditional forensic disciplines.

The process of drafting new standards has also changed following the new guidelines from NIST.

“Scientific and technical review panels” will now review proposed standards before they are sent to standards developing organizations (SDOs), to help ensure they already meet OSAC’s quality standards before being forwarded to an SDO.

OSAC’s team counts more than 550 members, with expertise ranging from forensics to scientific research and more.

The total of standards published by the Organization is 37 at the time of writing, with approved ones covering DNA mixture interpretation, digital evidence examination and wildlife forensics, among other areas.

For more information about OSAC’s new structural changes, here is a link to the organization’s website.

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