SWGDRUG Meeting Minutes

Deerfield Beach, Florida

July 13-15, 2010


Core Committee Members (present)


Nelson A. Santos, Drug Enforcement Administration, Chair


Scott R. Oulton, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secretariat


Susan Ballou, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


Suzanne Bell, West Virginia University


Michael Bovens, European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI)


Sylvia Burns, Forensic Science Service, England


Garth Glassburg, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD)


Linda Jackson, Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists


Richard Laing, Health Canada


Jack Mario, Northern Association of Forensic Scientists and American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM)


Jerry Massetti, Northwestern Association of Forensic Scientists and California Association of Criminalists (CAC)


Christian Matchett, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists


Iphegenia Naidis, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)


Osama Ohtsuru, National Research Institute of Police Science, Japan


Richard Paulas, Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists


Robert Powers, Connecticut Department of Public Safety


Sandra E. Rodriguez-Cruz, Drug Enforcement Administration


Scott Vajdos, Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists


Eileen Waninger, Federal Bureau of Investigation


Udo Zerell, Bundeskriminalamt, Germany



Core Committee Members (not present)


Catherine Quinn, Victoria Forensic Science Centre, Australia



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

8:30 am - Nelson A. Santos, Welcome and Review

Nelson Santos, SWGDRUG Chair, welcomed the core committee members to South Florida and opened the SWGDRUG meeting with an official announcement that Scott Oulton, SWGDRUG Secretariat, will be replacing him as the SWGDRUG Chair and that Sandra Rodriquez-Cruz will be replacing Mr. Oulton as Secretariat.  Mr. Santos emphasized his thanks to all the committee members for the last five years.  Mr. Santos then introduced Jill Raezer, Drug Enforcement Administration, as the note taker for the meeting.

Mr. Santos summarized the three main goals of the present meeting:  the Education and Training Initiative, Reporting recommendations, and Quantitative Analysis Uncertainty examples.

Suzanne Bell asked the committee members about an additional member from academia for SWGDRUG.  Mr. Santos asked for nominations and several candidates were discussed.  The committee members also discussed the requirements and considerations a nominee must possess prior to becoming a full committee member.  A trial run of any additional member to the committee was then proposed to the group.  Mr. Santos reiterated a need for individuals from other parts of the world such as Central or South America.

9:00 am - Christian Matchett, Cooperation with CLIC Update/ Status

Christian Matchett reported on the Recommendations on the Analysis of Clandestine Laboratories draft document and the comments received from CLIC members.  There are no official results from the comment period of the draft document.  CLIC will be meeting in November where it will be discussed and officially finalized.  Mr. Matchett hopes to present the final document at the next SWGDRUG meeting.

9:15 am - Michael Bovens, Quantitative Sampling and ENFSI Update

Michael Bovens delivered a presentation on Quantitative Sampling Guidelines that will meet practical, economical, legal, statistical and ISO 17025 requirements.  Mr. Bovens provided data on “correct sampling,” the notion of heterogeneity, and the types of sample errors in relation to quantitative measurements and the estimation of uncertainty.  The results of the presented studies were then discussed.  Mr. Bovens answered questions about quantitative measurements, sample size, appearance of the packaging materials and other special considerations, which were taken during the studies performed.  The remaining goal for this project is to develop guidelines for quantitative sampling.

10:45 am - Scott Oulton, New SWGDRUG Proposals

MS Library- Scott Oulton and Sandra Rodriguez-Cruz

Ms. Rodriguez-Cruz delivered a presentation on a NIST, open-source, customizable, MS library database that can be used on all instrument types. A library has been created utilizing this NIST MSSEARCH program that includes over 1200 spectra of drug and drug-related compounds.  Mr. Oulton proposed that this database be placed on the SWGDRUG website.  The benefits were discussed of sharing such a library through the SWGDRUG website allowing new spectra to be added from the forensic community.   Mr. Santos expressed concern and wanted to make sure that the users of this library understand that it is not a certified library from the DEA, rather a tool provided by SWGDRUG that would help the community with unknown mass spectra. 

Linda Jackson moved to include the MS library database on the SWGDRUG website.  Scott Vajdos seconded the motion.

All present committee members unanimously voted to approve the motion, pending the addition of a disclaimer specifying its use and purpose.

The Editorial/ Communications subcommittee was tasked by Mr. Santos with writing the disclaimer for committee review.


Limitations/ Regioisomers

Mr. Oulton presented the idea of having a separate section of the SWGDRUG website dedicated to the determination of the regioisomers of methamphetamine and MDMA including the instrumental limitations of each with appropriate reference materials.  Committee members discussed the advantages, disadvantages, and implications of such a section of information posted on the SWGDRUG website.  

Uncertainty Calculator

Mr. Oulton demonstrated the DEA’s Official Uncertainty Calculator.  He suggested that a similar spreadsheet could be built and placed onto the SWGDRUG website so that other laboratories could adapt it to suit their laboratory’s needs.  The Uncertainty subcommittee will consider this as they continue to develop tools to assist laboratories with the estimation of uncertainty.

1:30 pm - Scott Oulton, New SWGDRUG Proposals (continued)

Daubert Kit

Mr. Oulton showed an example of a Daubert Kit as posted on the SWGGUN website and proposed a similar admissibility resource kit for the SWGDRUG website.  The committee discussed having a collection Daubert hearing briefs posted to the SWGDRUG website for future reference. 


Mr. Oulton initiated a discussion regarding the development of a survey that would be able to determine how the current SWGDRUG recommendations had been adopted throughout laboratories.  The survey would also indicate the overall usefulness of the SWGDRUG recommendations.  Discussion ensued as to the scope and level of detail for the questionnaire.

Sylvia Burns provided two questionnaires to the group for review. 

The Communications subcommittee was tasked by Mr. Santos to create a mock version of the survey for approval by the core committee members.

2:30 pm - Suzanne Bell, Uncertainty Subcommittee Update/ Direction

A response from NIST regarding the Supplemental Uncertainty Document was posted for the committee members to review. 

Suzanne Bell provided a status update from the uncertainty subcommittee group and the progress with the quantitative uncertainty examples.

2:45 pm - Scott Oulton, SWGDRUG Communications

Mr. Oulton presented statistical information of SWGDRUG website usage.  Website “hits” are on target to exceed those from the previous year. 

3:00 pm - Scott Oulton, Copyrights and the DEA Library

Mr. Oulton discussed the challenges associated with publishing the DEA training manual due to copyrighted references within each module.  Mr. Oulton presented a possible solution where the DEA Librarian could compile and forward the references upon request via the Fair Use Act.  Other methods to obtain copyrighted documents were suggested by Suzanne Bell.

3:30 pm - Richard Laing, Education and Training Subcommittee Update/ Direction

Richard Laing provided an update on the Education and Training subcommittee.  Mr. Laing requested that more committee members were needed if the direction of the education and training initiative includes a training manual.  The committee members discussed that a training manual was not in line with the scope of SWGDRUG and that recommendations and guidelines were more appropriate.

Mr. Bovens disseminated the latest version of the draft ENFSI/DWG training outline recommendations for review and requested comments from SWGDRUG.  The committee members decided that SWGDRUG would provide a link to the final version of the ENFSI training outline once the final version of the SWGDRUG Training Recommendations is approved and posted on the SWGDRUG website.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

8:30 am - Scott Oulton- Reporting

Mr. Oulton began with a presentation on reporting.  The core committee discussed different reporting requirements/recommendations as outlined in the NAS report, ISO 17025 and the draft ASCLD/LAB-Supplemental document.  The Reporting subcommittee will review current SWGDRUG recommendations (Part IV A Section 9.2) regarding report writing.

9:30 am – The core committee broke into subcommittee meetings.  Subcommittees consisted of the following members:

Education and Training: Paulas (chair), Bovens, Glassburg, Laing, Massetti, Naidis, Vajdos

Uncertainty: Bell (chair), Burns, Mario, Matchett, Ohtsuru, Rodriguez-Cruz, Zerell

Reporting/Editorial/Communications: Jackson (chair), Ballou, Oulton, Powers, Santos, Waninger

1:00 pm - The subcommittees provided updates on the morning committee meetings.  Meetings resumed after status updates.

5:00 pm - Mr. Santos concluded the meeting and subcommittee break-out sessions.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

8:30 am - Subcommittee group updates

Dr. Bell and Mr. Laing of the Uncertainty and Education and Training committees, respectively, provided status updates.  Each subcommittee expressed that more time was needed in the afternoon session to complete their tasks.

Ms. Jackson and the communications subcommittee presented the SWGDRUG Mass Spectral Library introduction, disclaimer, and instructions for the website.  The instructions will also be included in a “read-me” file that will be downloaded with the library.  The committee members developed a mass spectral file submission request form to be included with the instructions.

Linda Jackson moved to accept the mass spectral library webpage and “read-me” file wording, pending minor editorial changes.  Scott Vajdos seconded the motion. 

All present committee members unanimously voted to approve the motion.

10:15 am - Ms. Jackson and the Editorial/Communication subcommittee presented a version of the SWGDRUG survey via surveymonkey.com.  A test survey using 10 questions was developed.  A complete version will be developed and submitted to the core committee members for testing and comments.

Ms. Jackson then presented the revisions to Part IV A Section 9.2 (Report Writing) and discussion ensued.  The revisions more closely align the SWGDRUG recommendations to the ISO 17025 standard. 

Christian Matchett moved that the committee accept section Part IV A, Section 9.2 (Report Writing) as revised and that it be posted for a 60 day public comment period.  Scott Vajdos seconded the motion. 

Vote: 15 in favor, 4 against.  The motion was approved based on majority vote.  (It was noted that several of the dissenting core committee members approved the content of the revised section but felt that it did not require a public comment period.)

1:00 pm - Subcommittee meetings resumed.

3:00 pm - Subcommittee Reports

Ms. Jackson reported that the communications subcommittee created a short survey on surveymonkey.com to collect comments on the revisions to Part IV A Section 9.2 (Report Writing).  A link to the survey will be available on the SWGDRUG website and will be sent via email to committee members to disseminate to their representative groups.

The Reporting subcommittee also discussed the option of providing report examples which conform to the SWGDRUG recommendations.  Dr. Powers requested committee members provide report examples from various sample types.

Mr. Paulas and the Education and Training Subcommittee presented their review of the ENFSI Training Outline.  Overall their comments were very positive, although they suggested additional areas which could be added.   Core committee members were requested to provide any additional comments regarding the ENFSI training outline to the Education and Training subcommittee by the end of July.

Mr. Laing presented a draft version of the SWGDRUG Training Guidelines/Syllabus, which had been reformatted as a Supplemental Document. 

Dr. Bell and the Uncertainty subcommittee presented the draft quantitative uncertainty supplemental document and reviewed the examples for a single unit exhibit.  Work will continue on all four examples via email and be provided to the core committee members prior to the next meeting.  Mr. Mario suggested providing the finalized quantitative uncertainty document to an outside statistician for review.

4:30 pm - Next SWGDRUG Meeting

Mr. Oulton proposed a January 25-27, 2011 meeting for next year.

The core committee members discussed future members who may be invited to join SWGDRUG. 

Ms. Iphigenia Naidis proposed requesting a representative from one of South America’s forensic societies.

4:45 pm - Closing

Nelson Santos closed the meeting and thanked all members for their effort.


Meeting minutes respectfully submitted by Ms. Jill R. Raezer on July 27, 2010.