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At the three-year mark the National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking input on its key initiative in establishing standards in forensic science.

The Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) was established in late 2014, and has amassed 560 members among some 34 committees and subcommittees. The forensic scientists, statisticians and criminal justice experts have reevaluated topics from bloodstain pattern analysis and fingerprints, to arson and crime scene investigations, to facial and speech recognition, among other subdisciplines.

Now NIST is seeking comments and suggestion on how to proceed with “OSAC 2.0”—a new version of the group.

Comments from interested experts and members of the public will be accepted through the end of this month, and could help determine the direction of the organization.

“Now that OSAC has been operating for three-plus years, it’s time to assess the performance of the organization and look for opportunities for improvement,” said Richard Cavanagh, director of the NIST Special Programs Office. “Although the structure of OSAC may change, the goals remain the same, and NIST remains committed to OSAC’s stability and scientific integrity.”

OSAC has continued on, as one of the “forensic overhaul” organizations that have lasted into the Trump administration. The National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) initially set the agenda for reevaluating forensic science—but that group was disbanded by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April.

Various OSAC members told Forensic Magazine earlier this year that the practicing forensic scientists, along with statisticians and other non-practicing experts, had begun to learn to communicate better over the course of OSAC’s operations.

NIST and the U.S. Department of Justice have maintained since OSAC’s founding in 2014 that OSAC would eventually move to a different host organization within five to 10 years.

The (OSAC 2.0) request for information published in the Federal Register can be found here

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