• Scientific Working Group on the Forensic Analysis of Radiological Materials (SWGFARM)

  • Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology (SWGFAST)

  • Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genetics and Forensics (SWGMGF)

  • Scientific Working Group on Shoeprint and Tire Tread Evidence (SWGTREAD)

Additional SWGs may be sponsored by other FBI divisions or other agencies. For example, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration supports the Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) (see Box 7-2).

Despite the proliferation of standards in many of the forensic science disciplines, their voluntary nature and inconsistent application make it difficult to assess their impact. Ideally, standards should be consistently applicable and measurable. In addition, mechanisms should be in place

Box 7-2

A Sampling of SWGs


In 1997, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Office of National Drug Control Policy created and sponsored a Technical Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (TWGDRUG), which was renamed a Scientific Working Group (SWGDRUG) in 1999. The stated objectives of SWGDRUG include the specification of requirements for forensic drug practitioners, the promotion of professional development, the exchange of information within the forensic science community, the promotion of ethical standards of practitioners, the provision of minimum standards for drug examinations and reporting, the establishment of quality assurance requirements, the consideration of relevant international standards, and the promotion of international acceptance of SWGDRUG recommendations. Individual subcommittees currently are devoted to evaluating analytical methods, setting standards for quality assurance, estimating uncertainty, formatting draft and final recommendations, and maintaining a glossary. The subcommittee develops recommendations, which the core committee votes to accept or reject. If accepted, draft documents are released for public comment for at least 60 days. Following public comment and possible revision, the core committee holds a final vote. Three-quarters of the core committee must be present, and two-thirds of those present must vote affirmatively in order to confer official status to a proposed recommendation.

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