SWGDRUG Meeting Minutes
January 10-12, 2012
Core Committee Members (present):
Scott R. Oulton, Chair, Drug Enforcement Administration
Sandra E. Rodriguez-Cruz, Secretariat, Drug Enforcement Administration
Conor Crean, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Linda Jackson, Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists
Jerry Massetti, Northwestern Association of Forensic Scientists & CA Association of Criminalists
Jack Mario, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists & American Society for Testing Materials
Christian Matchett, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists
Karen Phinney, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Pamela Reynolds, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Core Committee Members (not present):
John Paul Jones, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Head, Note Taker, Drug Enforcement Administration
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012
Welcome/Introduction of Meeting Guests/Review of Conference Agenda
Mr. Oulton also
introduced invited guests
Mr. Oulton discussed a
recent Rule 702 hearing in
Mr. Oulton explained
that although the governmental process of getting surveys approved for public
dissemination is time-consuming, he was willing to do so since it is important
to assess the effectiveness of recommendations.
Mr. Oulton stated that
Jason Bordelon is continuing to update the
Mr. Oulton described a
½ day workshop on SD-3 that
Core Committee Members Responsibilities
Mr. Oulton emphasized
the importance of each committee member and reminded them of their
responsibility to represent and provide feedback to their respective
Standardized SWG Bylaws
Mr. Oulton informed the
committee that upcoming scientific working group (SWG) bylaws may be
standardized for all SWG groups, but these documents are still in the draft
stage. Mr. Oulton discussed the
possibility that term limits may be implemented for committee members, but he
also emphasized the importance of keeping the wealth of information that long
term members can provide. Among the
upcoming possible changes, Mr. Oulton mentioned the creation of a vice chair
position and stated that
Uncertainty Sub-committee Update
Education and Training Sub-committee Update
· Mathematics and Statistics • General Chemistry Background
· Basic Lab Skills • Solubility and Extractions
· Spectrophotometry • Microscopy
· Chromatography • Mass Spectrometry
· Chemical Characterization • Court Testimony
Reporting Sub-committee Update/Direction
Linda Jackson updated
the committee on the progress of the example reports that have been developed
to illustrate the
Dr. Bovens discussed that the goal of the ENFSI Competence Assurance Project is to establish and require training to certify chemists on an individual level. There has been an intensive and controversial discussion on this topic within ENFSI. A majority of the laboratories consider the criteria under ISO 17025 regarding competence of its personnel performing the validated methods as absolutely and unambiguously sufficient. Other laboratories require an additional and individual assessment to demonstrate that their personnel are competent to perform its methods by an individual and repetitive certification process.
There was discussion on requirements of competency tests and the issue that was raised in the NAS report regarding certifications.
Dr. Bovens informed the committee that the working groups in the EU are active in the forensic community and have already introduced actions and tools to demonstrate their competence.
Scientific Working Group: Organizational Analysis
John Paul Jones delivered a presentation which was an overview of SWG’s and the 15 meetings he has attended (out of 19 total). Mr. Jones stated that the purpose of a SWG is to recommend minimum standards for forensic examination and that there are different organizational structures due to the lack of a coordinating group. The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act is a bill which proposes a committee to coordinate the SWG’s, however there has not been any movement on the bill.
Mr. Oulton stated that the Clan Lab document was submitted to ASTM and the comments are due back on Friday, January 13th.
Jack Mario updated the committee on the feedback received from ASTM regarding definitions for the terms bias and linearity. ASTM recommended that SWGDRUG update the definition of bias to remove the phrase “expectation of test results”. The committee agreed that this phrase should be removed. Mr. Mario proposed the use of the VIM definition “component of measurement error that in replicate measurements remains constant or varies in a predictable manner”. Discussion of the definition will continue in the Glossary Sub-committee. ASTM also commented that the definition for linearity should include a statement that the relationship is “directly proportional” instead of “proportional”. The committee discussed the possibility of curvi-linear relationships and agreed that the definition will not be changed.
Reporting Sub-committee Update
Linda Jackson discussed the phrasing of Section 5.1 from Part IVC of the main document regarding the reporting of uncertainty. Ms. Jackson discussed the upcoming ASCLD/LAB requirements for reporting uncertainty and recommended that “should” be changed to “shall” in anticipation of the new requirements. Ms. Jackson also proposed that Section 5.1 be removed from the main document and reference be made to SD-5 (Reporting Examples).
Verification of Reference Materials
Sylvia Burns discussed a question that was submitted by LGC (designated as UK National Measurement Institute) in which they proposed that standards received from accredited laboratories should be accepted at face value without having to be verified. Dr. Burns led a discussion on whether verification of standards should be required by laboratories, if authentication should be performed on each new lot of a standard, and if authentication and verification only apply to standards used for quantitation. The committee also discussed whether two category A tests used for identification must be uncorrelated and which techniques are considered uncorrelated. Mr. Oulton created a new sub-committee chaired by Dr. Burns to address SWGDRUG recommendations regarding verification of reference materials.
Sub-committee Break Out
The core committee members broke out into their respective sub-committees for the remainder of the day.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012
The core committee broke into subcommittee meetings for the majority of the day.
In the afternoon, Linda Jackson led the committee in a review of proposed editorial changes to SWGDRUG documents. The proposed changes also included clarification of the term “uncorrelated techniques” and a statement in Part II, Section 4 to endorse and recommend ENFSI’s Outline of Training document.
The committee agreed that reviews of the SWGDRUG Recommendations should continue and a new version of the document will not be released before the next meeting.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012
Reporting Sub-committee Update
Linda Jackson presented a final draft of Supplemental Document-5 (SD-5), which included two examples of reporting formats. The core committee reviewed the document and provided feedback and comments. The document had been amended to remove extensive report formatting so examples were based solely on SWGDRUG recommendations. The committee agreed that the reporting examples will be useful for the forensic community by providing different ways to report the same information.
Pamela Reynolds made a motion for the SWGDRUG core committee members to accept SD-5 with the changes discussed and to provide it for public comment for 60 days. Scott Vajdos seconded the motion. All present committee members unanimously voted to approve the motion.
Uncertainty Sub-committee Update
Suzanne Bell presented an update of Supplemental Document-4 (SD-4). The core committee provided comments and suggested edits which were incorporated into the document after discussion. Dr. Bell reviewed each of the uncertainty calculations with the committee and there was discussion regarding some calculations in the uncertainty budget table. Some of the statistical components in SD-4 will be addressed with assistance from NIST and statisticians. Sub-committee members will complete the document after input is received from statisticians at which time an updated document will be distributed for an email vote. Following the vote, the document will then be sent out for public comment. Mr. Oulton asked the committee to please respond either affirmative or not.
Reference Materials Sub-committee Update
Sylvia Burns presented an outline of the issues relating to reference materials that should be addressed by SWGDRUG. Dr. Burns stated that the sub-committee will review other existing documents regarding reference materials to assess their relevance to SWGDRUG. Topics included the application of certified reference materials in drug analysis, redefining the term “traceability” in the glossary, and the various types of reference materials, including reference data, which could be used to make an identification. Dr. Burns proposed that these issues should be addressed in the main SWGDRUG document. The sub-committee will continue working on these topics and will have a draft for the core committee to review at the next meeting. The core committee had further discussion regarding the use of reference materials and minimum requirements for identification. The core committee agreed the Reference Materials Sub-committee should be a formally recognized sub-committee. Mr. Oulton stated that Jill Head (note taker) will continue working with the sub-committee on the draft until the next meeting and longer if necessary.
Education and Training Sub-committee Update
Richard Paulas reported that the training website will not be pursued. Mr. Paulas proposed the creation of a supplemental document in support of ENFSI documents to outline training objectives for particular topics. The supplemental document would provide a list of questions that a trainee should be able to answer at the completion of that training topic. The committee agreed with the direction of the Training Sub-committee and that this would be valuable to the community. The sub-committee will continue compiling questions and will prepare a document that will include an introduction, several analytical techniques, and several drug sections available for the committee to review. After completion, the document will then be sent out for public comment. At that time, suggestions for new questions and training topics will also be requested from the public.
Sub-Committee Status Updates
Mr. Oulton summarized the status of the sub-committees as follows:
Reporting: members will assist Reference Materials Sub-committee until comments are received from the public
Reference Materials: Burns (chair), Yap Tiong Whei, Reynolds, Crean (guest), Head (consultation)
Next SWGDRUG Meeting/Closeout
Mr. Oulton asked the committee to inform their organizations by email when the reporting documents have been posted for public comment and to copy SWGDRUG@hotmail.com to document the communication. Mr. Oulton stated that John Paul Jones (guest) was very complimentary of SWGDRUG and that the group was highly productive. Mr. Jones was impressed with the intricacies of an international SWG where the science and older documents were ensured to be current.
Mr. Oulton thanked all committee members and guests for attending the meeting and for their participation, hard work, and time. Mr. Oulton thanked Dr. Bell for the work she did on the uncertainty documents, Mr. Powers for his work on reporting examples and Mr. Paulas for his work on the training documents. Mr. Oulton also thanked Jill Head for taking notes and Sandra Rodriguez-Cruz for her hard work leading up to and during the meeting.
Mr. Oulton and Mr. Paulas thanked Ms. Jackson for the constant editorial updates she made and her work which resulted in the reporting documents being released to the public.
The next SWGDRUG meeting is tentatively scheduled for the week of July 9-13, 2012.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Jill Head