SWGDRUG Meeting Minutes
Nelson A. Santos, Drug Enforcement Administration, Chair
Scott R. Oulton, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secretariat
Michael Bovens, European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI)
Sylvia Burns, Forensic
Garth Glassburg, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
Linda Jackson, MidAtlantic Association of Forensic Scientists
Richard Laing, Health
Jack Mario, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists and American Society for Testing Materials
Jerry Massetti, Northwestern
Association of Forensic Scientists and
Christian Matchett, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists and Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Ramona Montreuil, Drug Enforcement Administration
Iphigenia Naidis, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Robert Powers, Connecticut Department of Public Safety
Chris Tindall, Metropolitan
Scott Vajdos, Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists and Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office
Eileen Waninger, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Susan Ballou, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Osama Ohtsuru, National
Research Institute of Police
Richard Paulas, Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
Nelson Santos welcomed the
committee members to
Mr. Santos thanked the members for their continued hard work and summarized the three goals of this meeting. The first goal was to finalize the Uncertainty Supplemental Document. The second goal was to review and approve the editorial changes from the last meeting. The third goal was to develop the concept of creating a SWGDRUG Training Manual while keeping in mind collaborating this endeavor with ENFSI. Finally, in light of the recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, Mr. Santos stressed the increasing importance of maintaining a strong SWGDRUG committee that establishes solid standards for the forensic community.
**Current Activity Updates**
**Jack Mario reported
**Michael Bovens summarized the activities of ENFSI Drugs Working Group. All ENFSI standards and guidelines are available on the Website along with new statistical software. The ENFSI subcommittees finalized an amended version of the “Quality of Sampling” guidelines and a validation report. The final version of the Guideline on the Use of Reference Materials is available for download. An initial outline for the ENFSI Education and Training Manual has been completed which he provided to the SWGDRUG subcommittee on Education and Training.
**Iphigenia Naidis presented current and proposed UNODC publications including:
**Jerry Massetti summarized
his activities regarding laboratory use of microcrystalline tests. He polled laboratories in
The results of his poll indicated diverse and considerable use of microcrystalline tests by forensic laboratories suggesting a need to continue gathering information from which SWGDRUG can base an opinion or recommendation.
**Chris Matchett reported
that the collaboration between SWGDRUG and
Chris then asked the committee for comments regarding the following topics:
Finally, Chris intimated that
it would be beneficial for the
initiated a discussion regarding the classification of the Direct Analysis in
Real Time (DART) mass spectrometry technique—is it a category A or B? Is clarification required to differentiate
soft vs. hard ionization techniques for mass spectrometry techniques? Does the
**Sylvia Burns presented the revisions regarding the dual sampling requirements where it is no longer compulsory to sample the exhibit twice provided enhanced quality assurance procedures are in place. The concept of the rewrite of Part III, B, was to clarify the need for two separate samplings particularly when hyphenated techniques provided sufficient analytical data to identify the compound and to remove repetition. The committee discussed the proposal and following minor amendment agreed revised wording.
The committee discussed the meaning of the term “reviewable data” and concluded that reviewable data is documentation in various forms including handwritten notes, photographs, and instrumental data. There was also extensive discussion on the possible ambiguity surrounding the “forms” of cannabis. In particular, the wording for cannabis analysis does not explicitly include cannabis “resin”; however, the committee found the document to be complete.
**Linda Jackson reviewed the editorial changes initiated at the last meeting. Additional changes were referred to the Editorial Subcommittee for proper wording. The areas requiring revisions included:
**Suzanne Bell reported that the Uncertainty Subcommittee has completed an example for calculating and reporting uncertainty of weights (balance example). The example is ready for committee review and approval. In addition, this supplement can be posted for 60 days for public comment as well as be sent to a metrologist for expert review at the same time.
**Scott Oulton presented the
DEA Web-based Training Program as a possible format for the SWGDRUG recommended
training program. The DEA program
mandates competency requirements and provides follow-up assessment
**Richard Laing summarized the Education and Training Subcommittee’s approach for creating a SWGDRUG Training Manual which initiated extensive discussion regarding the training program. The concept points are to:
**Michael Bovens presented
the training recommendations from the ENFSI meeting in
The consensus of the subcommittee was to develop a training program which is a competency-based model with references designed in a matrix format. Further discussion for the subcommittee to consider included:
It was suggested that the SWGDRUG reach out to the forensic science community for input on topics in an effort to produce a document that can be tailored to each country’s or each laboratory’s need.
**Scott Oulton provided an update on the SWGDRUG website activity. Quarterly activity for calendar year 2009 indicates sustained interest in the website. Use of the Home, Approved, and Supplemental sections of the website was most predominant with the DEA website and Google search providing the most referrals. There was no apparent increase in website activity concomitant to the release of the NAS report.
There were significant
discussions regarding the NAS report and its impact on the forensic science
community in the
Subcommittee Breakout Sessions—the subcommittee members are:
Education and Training: Laing, Quinn, Bovens, Naidis, Massetti, Glassburg, [Paulas (chair)], Vajdos
Education and Training—the subcommittee established the matrix format to organize thoughts, define specific elements, and assign cells in order to identify key narrative paragraphs and references in a systematic and comprehensive manner. The theme of the matrix revolves around defining competency requirements and corresponding assessment phases so that the user will be required to demonstrate abilities and knowledge.
Uncertainty—the example on uncertainty of weights was already finalized. The examples on uncertainty of quantitation are in progress.
Editorial—all prior changes were incorporated into the document. New language was drafted to clarify that the classification of a technique may be lower, if the sample, analyte or mode of operation diminishes its discriminating power.
A definition for “false negative” was added to the glossary. The entire document was reviewed and wording changes were made (e.g., will to shall and should to shall).
**Dr. Bell presented the uncertainty supplemental for weights, “Measurement Uncertainty for Weight Determination in Seized Drug Analysis”. Committee comments included:
A motion was made by Chris Tindall for the committee to post the supplemental document, “Measurement Uncertainty for Weight Determination in Seized Drug Analysis”, for 60 days for public comment.
The motion was seconded by Linda Jackson.
No further discussion.
Motion passed by unanimous vote.
The uncertainty for quantitative measurement with unique scenarios along with additional examples (PTP, control chart) should be ready for review by the next meeting.
**Linda Jackson presented the editorial changes made in an effort to make the entire document more harmonious, less disjointed. There was much discussion on whether the changes were purely editorial or were substantive enough to warrant public review. The committee agreed that the language changes and clarification on two samplings were significant.
A motion was made by Chris Tindall for the committee to accept the editorial changes and to submit for public comment the entire document with the committee accepted changes identified in red text.
The motion was seconded by Garth Glassburg.
No further discussion.
Motion passed by unanimous vote.
**Richard Laing presented an update on the progress made on the proposed SWGDRUG Training Manual. The meld of ideas from both SWGDRUG and ENFSI were introduced including:
This initiated a flow of ideas regarding other possible topics, assessment criteria, the possible impact this manual or guideline may have, and what the final product should be. The value of this endeavor was explored and deemed worthwhile.
The proposed timeline goals are:
**Jack Mario distributed copies of the new VIM definitions from the Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (JCGM 200:2008). This information was provided for subsequent discussion and possible inclusion into the SWGDRUG Glossary. The Glossary committee will evaluate the new definitions prior to the next meeting. Nelson Santos appointed Eileen Waninger to the Glossary committee to assist present committee members Mario and Ballou.
Proposed Agenda for the next meeting
Location: To be determined
Nelson Santos thanked the committee for their hard-work and diligence in meeting the goals set-forth on at the beginning of the meeting.
Contact either Scott Oulton and Susan Ballou for information regarding reimbursement of travel or per diem related expenses.
submitted by Ramona Montreuil on