Summary: H.R.5795 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5795. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (07/14/2016)

Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2016

This bill establishes a National Forensic Science Research Initiative to improve, expand, and coordinate federal research in forensic sciences.

The bill establishes a National Forensic Science Coordinating Office to coordinate with relevant federal agencies in the development of: (1) a unified federal research strategy; and (2) any necessary programs, policies, and budgets to support implementation of the research strategy.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) shall contract with the National Research Council to develop a report: (1) identifying the most critical challenges in forensic science that require further research, and (2) making recommendations for research to address those challenges.

The bill states that all external forensic science research grants awarded by federal agencies under this bill shall be subject to a competitive, merit-review process.

The NSF shall:

  • award forensic science basic research grants to improve the foundation and practice of forensic science;
  • establish one or more multidisciplinary forensic research centers led by public-private partnerships between universities, industry, state or local entities, and federal agencies; and
  • conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the NSF's full portfolio of forensic science research and education grants every four years.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shall establish: (1) a competitively selected Center of Excellence focusing on measurement sciences, technology, and standards in forensic science; and (2) scientific area committees to identify gaps in and opportunities for standards development in the forensic sciences.

NIST and the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall establish a National Commission on Forensic Science to advise the agencies participating in the unified federal research strategy and review recommendations on standards development in forensic science.

DOJ shall:

  • encourage the broad adoption of forensic science standards, requiring each DOJ laboratory, and encouraging other federal forensic laboratories, to adopt these standards;
  • promote accreditation and certification based on forensic science standards; and
  • promote recommendations made by the National Commission on Forensic Science.