42 U.S.C. § 14131 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare § 14131. Quality assurance and proficiency testing standards

(a) Publication of quality assurance and proficiency testing standards

(1)(A)  Not later than 180 days after September 13, 1994, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall appoint an advisory board on DNA quality assurance methods from among nominations proposed by the head of the National Academy of Sciences and professional societies of crime laboratory officials.

(B)  The advisory board shall include as members scientists from State, local, and private forensic laboratories, molecular geneticists and population geneticists not affiliated with a forensic laboratory, and a representative from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

(C)  The advisory board shall develop, and if appropriate, periodically revise, recommended standards for quality assurance, including standards for testing the proficiency of forensic laboratories, and forensic analysts, in conducting analyses of DNA.

(2)  The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after taking into consideration such recommended standards, shall issue (and revise from time to time) standards for quality assurance, including standards for testing the proficiency of forensic laboratories, and forensic analysts, in conducting analyses of DNA.

(3)  The standards described in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall specify criteria for quality assurance and proficiency tests to be applied to the various types of DNA analyses used by forensic laboratories.  The standards shall also include a system for grading proficiency testing performance to determine whether a laboratory is performing acceptably.

(4)  Until such time as the advisory board has made recommendations to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director has acted upon those recommendations, the quality assurance guidelines adopted by the technical working group on DNA analysis methods shall be deemed the Director's standards for purposes of this section.

(b) Administration of advisory board

(1)  For administrative purposes, the advisory board appointed under subsection (a) of this section shall be considered an advisory board to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(2)  Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply with respect to the advisory board appointed under subsection (a) of this section.

(3)  The DNA advisory board established under this section shall be separate and distinct from any other advisory board administered by the FBI, and is to be administered separately.

(4)  The board shall cease to exist on the date 5 years after the initial appointments are made to the board, unless the existence of the board is extended by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(c) Proficiency testing program

(1)  Not later than 1 year after the effective date of this Act, the Director of the National Institute of Justice shall certify to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House and Senate that--

(A)  the Institute has entered into a contract with, or made a grant to, an appropriate entity for establishing, or has taken other appropriate action to ensure that there is established, not later than 2 years after September 13, 1994, a blind external proficiency testing program for DNA analyses, which shall be available to public and private laboratories performing forensic DNA analyses;

(B)  a blind external proficiency testing program for DNA analyses is already readily available to public and private laboratories performing forensic DNA analyses;  or

(C)  it is not feasible to have blind external testing for DNA forensic analyses.

(2)  As used in this subsection, the term “blind external proficiency test” means a test that is presented to a forensic laboratory through a second agency and appears to the analysts to involve routine evidence.

(3)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Attorney General shall make available to the Director of the National Institute of Justice during the first fiscal year in which funds are distributed under this subtitle up to $250,000 from the funds available under part X of Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 3796kk et seq. ] to carry out this subsection.


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