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113th Congress      }                            {           Report 
                                 SENATE                        
 2d Session         }                            {           113-320
_______________________________________________________________________
                                    

                                                       Calendar No. 619

               FORENSIC SCIENCE AND STANDARDS ACT OF 2014

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2022




               December 12, 2014.--Ordered to be printed
               
                                   ______

                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
49-006 PDF                    WASHINGTON : 2014 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

               
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
       
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
 BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
 BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
 MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
 MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
 AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota             DEAN HELLER, Nevada
 MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DANIEL COATS, Indiana
 RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
 BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
 ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
 JOHN WALSH, Montana
                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
              David Schwietert, Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel
               
113th Congress         }                            {         Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session            }                            {        113-320

======================================================================
 
               FORENSIC SCIENCE AND STANDARDS ACT OF 2014

                                _______
                                

               December 12, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                
          ______

                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-006 PDF                     WASHINGTON : 2014 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------                            

     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following


                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2022]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2022) to establish scientific 
standards and protocols across forensic disciplines, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 2022, the Forensic Science and Standards 
Act of 2014, is to strengthen forensic science by promoting 
scientific research, establishing science-based voluntary 
consensus standards and protocols across forensic science 
disciplines, and encouraging the adoption of these standards.

                          Background and Needs


The case for action

    Modern forensic science is a powerful law enforcement tool. 
Significant advances in DNA testing, for example, have enabled 
law enforcement to identify suspects and solve crimes using 
only minute traces of biological evidence. In a number of other 
areas, however, forensic science methods require further 
testing to fully ascertain both their validity and accuracy.\1\ 
While the consistency and certainty of DNA analysis is well 
established, forensic disciplines such as bite mark analysis 
lack a rigorous body of supporting scientific research.\2\ Even 
fingerprint analysis, despite its longevity and general 
acceptance as an exact identification technique, has been found 
lacking in strong scientific validation.\3,\\4,\\5\ Fundamental 
or basic scientific research and science-based standards can 
therefore help to establish or enhance the reliability of 
forensic techniques. Strengthening the science underpinning of 
the forensic disciplines and improving standards of practice 
will serve not only to identify and prosecute criminals but 
also to avoid wrongful convictions, which both imprison the 
innocent and leave dangerous criminals free.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Research Council, Strengthening Forensic Science in the 
United States: A Path Forward (Washington, DC: The National Academies 
Press, 2009).
    \2\Ibid.
    \3\Koehler, J.J., ``Fingerprint Error Rates and Proficiency Tests: 
What They Are and Why They Matter,'' Hastings Law Journal 59 (2008), p. 
1077-1100.
    \4\Haber, L. and Haber, R.N., ``Scientific Validation of 
Fingerprint Evidence under Daubert,'' Law Probability and Risk 7 
(2008), p. 87-109.
    \5\Mnookin, J.L., ``The Validity of Latent Fingerprint 
Identification: Confessions of a Fingerprinting Moderate,'' Law, 
Probability and Risk 7 (2008), p. 127-141.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Academies findings and recommendations

    At the request of Congress,\6\ the National Academy of 
Sciences (NAS) in 2006 formed a committee, including members of 
the legal, forensic science practitioner, and research 
communities, to assess the state of forensic science in the 
United States. The committee's in-depth work led to the 2009 
report Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A 
Path Forward.\7\ This report brought to light many concerns 
about the state of forensic science, including the need to 
establish or enhance the scientific foundation behind many 
forensic science disciplines, the lack of mandatory and 
enforceable standards in laboratory techniques and reporting, 
and the potential for bias and examiner error. The report's 
recommendations included providing resources to support 
fundamental research in forensic science; establishing better 
education and training programs for forensic science 
practitioners; adopting and enforcing best practices, quality 
controls, and proficiency testing; and establishing standard 
terminology to be used in reports and testimony for the courts. 
The report also noted that, while congressional action will not 
remedy all of the problems identified, Federal leadership is 
necessary to make meaningful advances. This bill would 
specifically address the need for increased scientific research 
and development of science-based standards in the forensic 
disciplines.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Congress, Conference Committee, Making Appropriations for 
Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related 
Agencies for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2006, and for Other 
Purposes, H. Rept. 109-272 (2005).
    \7\National Research Council, Strengthening Forensic Science in the 
United States: A Path Forward (Washington, DC: The National Academies 
Press, 2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some forensic methods evolved from laboratory sciences and 
are well rooted in the scientific process; however, other 
methods evolved to fulfill specific law enforcement needs 
without undergoing rigorous scientific analyses and therefore 
remain vulnerable to concerns about reliability.\8\ The 2009 
NAS report concluded that enhanced scientific scrutiny of non-
laboratory disciplines, such as fingerprint and ballistic 
analyses, is required to establish the limits of reliability 
and accuracy of different disciplines. DNA analysis, for 
example, required years of research and scientific debate 
before achieving the broad acceptance it enjoys today. Although 
scientists discovered the structure of DNA in the 1950s, the 
first publicized use of DNA evidence to establish a positive 
identification in legal proceedings in the United States did 
not occur until 1987.\9\ Other forensic methods may or may not 
hold up to scientific scrutiny, and may only prove useful in 
certain contexts, or may be discredited. Comparative bullet 
lead analysis, for example, was once a popular forensic 
technique for linking bullets found at a crime scene to bullets 
in the possession of suspects. However, after a 2004 NAS study 
found that the analysis method used could be ``unreliable and 
potentially misleading,''\10\ the FBI voluntarily stopped 
providing the analysis to law enforcement.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Ibid.
    \9\U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Genetic Witness: 
Forensic Uses of DNA Tests, OTA-BA-438 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government 
Printing Office, 1990).
    \10\National Research Council, Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet 
Lead Analysis (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2004).
    \11\John Solomon, ``FBI's Forensic Test Full of Holes,'' Washington 
Post, November 18, 2007, at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2007/11/17/AR2007111701681.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Compliance with a well-defined set of standards reduces the 
risk of bias, improves the consistency of a given test, and 
makes it possible to replicate and empirically test 
procedures.\12\ While many forensic science disciplines have 
standards developed by standards-setting organizations, there 
are variations in those standards and their use is often 
voluntary. Because of the inconsistent application of standards 
and lack of uniformity in the standards-setting community, the 
2009 NAS report identified a role for the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST), working in conjunction with 
stakeholders, to develop ``tools for advancing measurement, 
validation, reliability, information sharing, and proficiency 
testing in forensic science and to establish protocols for 
forensic examinations, methods, and practices.''\13\ However, 
as NIST is a non-regulatory agency, this approach would require 
the involvement of another agency, such as the Department of 
Justice (DOJ), for standards dissemination and implementation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\National Research Council, Strengthening Forensic Science.
    \13\Ibid at 214.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 2022 would support research by:
         establishing a National Forensic Science 
        Research Initiative (NFSRI)--to include a coordinating 
        office, an interagency committee, and a Federal 
        research strategy--to improve, expand, and coordinate 
        Federal research in the forensic sciences;
         directing the NSF to award merit-based 
        research grants to improve the foundation of forensic 
        science and to establish multidisciplinary forensic 
        science research centers; and
         encouraging all Federal agencies with equities 
        in forensic science to use prizes and challenges to 
        stimulate innovative and creative solutions to satisfy 
        the research needs identified in the national strategy.
    The bill would direct the development and promotion of 
uniform standards by:
         requiring NIST to coordinate the development 
        of voluntary consensus forensic science standards in 
        consultation with standards development organizations 
        and stakeholders, including the DOJ and State and local 
        practitioners;
         directing NIST to establish a forensic science 
        Center of Excellence;
         establishing a National Commission on Forensic 
        Science to make recommendations to the Attorney 
        General, NIST Director, and others on standards 
        development and adoption; and
         directing the Attorney General to require the 
        adoption of standards in laboratories under DOJ, as 
        appropriate, and to encourage their use in other 
        Federal forensic science laboratories.

                          Legislative History

    On June 26, 2013, the Committee held a hearing entitled, 
``From the Lab Bench to the Courtroom: Advancing the Science 
and Standards of Forensics.'' The Committee examined the 
science of forensic disciplines, the need for scientific 
research and enforceable national standards, other challenges 
faced by the forensic science community, and the role of the 
Federal Government in facilitating the validation and 
standardization in forensic disciplines. A key conclusion of 
this hearing was that Federal leadership and funding are 
required to improve standards setting, as well as to support 
basic research and applied research. Witnesses agreed that 
scientific research was critical to advancing and validating 
the forensic sciences and supported a Federal role in promoting 
consistent forensics standards, with some witnesses emphasizing 
the need for sufficient input from State and local forensic 
science practitioners in standards development and 
implementation.
    On February 12, 2014, Senator Rockefeller introduced S. 
2022 and the measure was referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation. Senator Blumenthal cosponsored the 
bill. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson introduced a similar 
bill, H.R. 3064, on September 9, 2013.
    On March 27, 2014, Senators Leahy and Cornyn of the 
Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate introduced the 
Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Reform Act (S. 2177). S. 
2177 would address forensic science research, standards, 
accreditation, certification, and training. S. 2177 would make 
certification and accreditation a requirement for the receipt 
of Federal funds by a forensic science laboratory and permit 
existing grant programs to fund accreditation and certification 
activities. No new funding, however, would be authorized for 
this purpose. Also, whereas S. 2022 reflects current 
developments, such as the Administration establishing the newly 
appointed National Commission on Forensic Science and the 
Organization of Scientific Area Committees, S. 2177 would 
require a different approach to the Federal role.
    On April 9, 2014, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation met in open Executive Session and, by voice 
vote, ordered S. 2022 to be reported favorably with an 
amendment (in the nature of a substitute).

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2022--Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2014

    Summary: S. 2022 would establish the Forensic Science 
Research Initiative to improve, expand, and coordinate federal 
research in the forensic sciences. Under the initiative, 
selected agencies would be directed to undertake activities 
designed to improve the validity and reliability of forensic 
science (FS) practices. (FS encompasses both basic and applied 
research and its application to recognize, evaluate, and 
analyze evidence for use in investigations and legal 
proceedings.)
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 2022 would cost $101 
million over the 2015-2019 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to 
this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    S. 2022 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S. 2022 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 370 
(commerce and housing credit).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2015     2016     2017     2018     2019   2015-2019
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Estimated Authorization Level...........................       28       31       15       15       16       104
Estimated Outlays.......................................       22       29       18       15       16       101
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Basis of estimate: S. 2022 would establish the Forensic 
Science Research Initiative to improve, expand, and coordinate 
federal research in FS and to develop a strategy that directs 
research efforts to improve the validity and reliability of FS 
practices.
    The bill would create a coordinating office to develop the 
research strategy, a national commission to provide advice to 
federal agencies implementing the new research strategy, a 
center of excellence to improve standards of practice in the 
forensic sciences, and new research centers to conduct basic 
research and encourage efforts to apply the research to 
practical use in the forensic sciences.
    S. 2022 would authorize the appropriation of $28 million 
over fiscal years 2015 and 2016 for the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate the development 
of new voluntary standards for FS and to test and validate 
existing standards, measurements, and methods.
    Based on information from the agencies that would be 
affected by the legislation, including NIST, the National 
Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Science and Technology 
Policy (OSTP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 2022 would cost $101 million 
over the 2015-2019 period, assuming appropriation of the 
specified and necessary amounts. Much of that amount, about $68 
million, would be spent by NIST to develop new standards and 
test existing standards in the forensic sciences, to establish 
a new center of excellence, and to undertake efforts to improve 
the practice of forensic science in the United States. The 
balance of the costs would be borne by OSTP, NSF, and DOJ to 
support the coordinating office and research centers, and to 
fund research and other efforts to improve FS practices.
    Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2022 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Susan Willie, Matthew 
Pickford, and Martin von Gnechten; Impact on state, local, and 
tribal governments: J'nell L. Blanco; Impact on the private 
sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    The bill would require the establishment of the NFSRI--to 
include a coordinating office, an interagency committee, and a 
Federal research strategy--to improve, expand, and coordinate 
Federal research in the forensic sciences. The bill would also 
require NIST to identify and coordinate the development of 
forensic science standards that would be adopted, as 
appropriate, by laboratories under DOJ. These laboratories are 
already subject to DOJ rules and regulations, and therefore the 
number of persons covered should be consistent with the current 
levels of individuals impacted under the provisions that are 
addressed in the bill.

                            economic impact

    The bill would authorize $8 million in fiscal year (FY) 
2014, $12 million in FY 2015, and $16 million in FY 2016 out of 
otherwise available appropriations to NIST. These funding 
levels are not expected to have an inflationary impact on the 
Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    S. 2022 is not expected to have an adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals. Forensic data sets that could 
be shared for the purpose of carrying out a prize or challenge 
under section 6 of the bill would be provided in a way that 
ensures the privacy rights of individuals are protected.

                               paperwork

    S. 2022 would not increase the paperwork requirements for 
private individuals or businesses, unless an individual applied 
and participated on the National Commission on Forensic Science 
or the Scientific Area Committees, or a company was part of a 
submission for a grant award under a solicitation issued 
pursuant to this bill. The legislation would require several 
reports from the Federal Government, including a Federal 
research strategy, implementation plan, and a biennial 
evaluation of the progress of the NFSRI.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title; table of contents

    This section would provide that the legislation be cited as 
the ``Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2014.''

Section 2. Findings

    This section would provide relevant findings from the NAS 
report Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A 
Path Forward that highlight the need for research and continued 
standards development in forensic disciplines.

Section 3. Definitions

    This section would define six terms used in the bill. The 
definition of ``forensic science'' in S. 2022 would include 
pattern, analytical, and digital techniques. Given the 
increasing dependence on digital sources of information and the 
rapid evolution of technology, the Committee acknowledges the 
particular need for research in the area of digital forensics.
    The Committee also acknowledges the strong need for both 
basic and applied research in forensic science. Basic (or 
fundamental) research advances scientific understanding and 
fuels technological innovation. Basic research on DNA, for 
example, led to a powerful forensic tool. However, when James 
Watson and Francis Crick published their 1953 paper on the 
structure of DNA, its utility in revolutionizing medicine and 
the criminal justice system was unknown. Further, since 
innovation occurs in an iterative progression, new 
applications, needs, processes, and products often inspire new 
basic research.

Section 4. National Forensic Science Research Initiative

    This section would establish the NFSRI to improve, expand, 
and coordinate Federal research in the forensic sciences, with 
participation from NSF, NIST, DOJ, and other Federal 
departments, agencies, and offices contributing to research in 
forensic science. A coordinating office and interagency 
committee would be established to oversee the development and 
implementation of a Federal research strategy. Both the 
Director of the Coordinating Office and the co-chair of the 
interagency committee would be required to have expertise 
relevant to forensic science, which could include research 
experience in forensic disciplines or related fields such as 
genetics, statistics, chemistry, biology, etc. The NSF 
Director, in consultation with the Director of the Coordinating 
Office, would contract with an external, independent science 
entity to develop a report that would identify critical 
forensic science research needs. Further, this section would 
require the development, in consultation with State and local 
stakeholders, of a triennially-updated, unified Federal 
research strategy and implementation roadmap in forensic 
science. The roadmap would consider both the basic and applied 
research needs in forensic science.
    Although the legislation does not specifically identify 
participating entities at DOJ, the Committee expects that the 
National Institute of Justice would play a significant role in 
the NFSRI, particularly in collaboration with NSF. While NSF 
would be likely to have a primary role in expanding basic 
research in forensic science, many other Federal agencies--from 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the U.S. 
Postal Inspection Service--could be involved in the research 
initiative. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for example, would likely 
have an interest in strengthening the field of conservation 
forensics, which is critical for supporting Federal efforts to 
combat illegal wildlife trafficking. The U.S. Department of 
Defense, as another example, operates a number of forensic 
science laboratories--including the U.S. Army Criminal 
Investigation Laboratory, the Armed Forces DNA Identification 
Laboratory, and the Defense Computer Forensic Laboratory--and 
conducts applied research to develop ``smaller, faster, 
lighter'' and automated technologies to reduce the need for 
forward deployment of forensic scientists.

Section 5. Implementation of forensic science research recommendations

    This section would direct the Federal entities 
participating in the NFSRI to improve the foundation and 
practice of forensic science through research and 
collaboration, consistent with the unified Federal research 
strategy. Agencies would also be required to build 
relationships between forensic science practitioners and the 
research community and to broadly disseminate the results of 
research conducted under the NFSRI. All external grants awarded 
by any entity pursuant to this section would be required to be 
consistent with the merit review criteria approved by the 
National Science Board and described by NSF's Proposal and 
Award Policies and Procedures Guide. Research findings would be 
considered for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
    NSF would be directed to establish at least one 
multidisciplinary research center to conduct basic and 
translational research relevant to forensic science. NIST would 
be directed to establish and operate a Center of Excellence 
focusing on measurement science, technology, and standards 
development in the forensic sciences.

Section 6. Forensic science research challenges

    This section would highlight the use of Federal entities' 
existing prize and challenge authority to advance forensic 
science research needs and priorities. It would also provide 
possible examples of how prizes and challenges could be applied 
to forensic science research. The direction for making forensic 
data sets available for research would be consistent with the 
Administration's open data policies and the Committee expects 
that an individual's privacy rights would be protected in 
making data available for this purpose.

Section 7. Forensic science standards

    This section would provide direction to NIST to identify 
and coordinate the development of voluntary consensus forensic 
science standards and to develop measurement standards and 
standard reference materials to support forensic science 
disciplines. To inform NIST's work, the NIST Director and the 
Attorney General would establish scientific area committees to 
identify gaps in and opportunities for forensic science 
standards development. A majority of the scientific area 
committees would be required to have a minimum representation 
of 50 percent from forensic science practitioners to the extent 
practicable. The NIST Director, in administering the scientific 
area committees, would be required to ensure the forensic 
community has an opportunity for public review and comment on 
the proposed standards. For the purposes of carrying out this 
section, appropriations out of otherwise available funds would 
be authorized for NIST in the amounts of $8 million for FY 
2014, $12 million for FY 2015, and $16 million for FY 2016.

Section 8. National Commission on Forensic Science

    This section would authorize the NIST Director and the 
Attorney General, in consultation with the NSF Director, to 
establish a National Commission on Forensic Science. The 
Commission would provide advice to the Federal departments, 
agencies, and offices participating in the unified Federal 
research strategy and standards development in forensic 
science. While the Attorney General would provide 
administrative support for this Commission, the direction is 
not meant to exclude other agencies from providing staff. 
Rather, the Committee expects that NIST and other relevant 
Federal agencies, as appropriate, would assist with the 
staffing needs of the Commission.

Section 9. Adoption, accreditation, and certification

    This section would direct the Attorney General to encourage 
the broad adoption of forensic science standards and to require 
laboratories under DOJ to adopt these standards, as 
appropriate. The Attorney General would also promote 
accreditation and certification based on forensic science 
standards and advance recommendations made by the National 
Commission on Forensic Science.

Section 10. National Institute of Standards and Technology functions

    This section would amend the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology Act (15 U.S.C. 271 et seq.) by 
directing to NIST ``to identify and coordinate the development 
of voluntary consensus forensic science standards to enhance 
the validity and reliability of forensic science activities.''

Section 11. Effect on other laws

    This section would clarify that this bill does not impact 
the support and technical assistance for State and local 
laboratories under part BB of title I of the Omnibus Crime 
Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3797j et seq.).

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

           NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY ACT

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT, FUNCTIONS, AND ACTIVITIES.

                            [15 U.S.C. 272]

  (a) Establishment of National Institute of Standards and 
Technology.--There is established within the Department of 
Commerce a science, engineering, technology, and measurement 
laboratory to be known as the National Institute of Standards 
and Technology (hereafter in this Act referred to as the 
``Institute'').
  (b) Functions of Secretary and Institute.--The Secretary of 
Commerce (hereafter in this Act referred to as the 
``Secretary'') acting through the Director of the Institute 
(hereafter in this Act referred to as the ``Director'') is 
authorized to take all actions necessary and appropriate to 
accomplish the purposes of this Act, including the following 
functions of the Institute--
          (1) to assist industry in the development of 
        technology and procedures needed to improve quality, to 
        modernize manufacturing processes, to ensure product 
        reliability, manufacturability, functionality, and 
        cost-effectiveness, and to facilitate the more rapid 
        commercialization, especially by small- and medium-
        sized companies throughout the United States, of 
        products based on new scientific discoveries in fields 
        such as automation, electronics, advanced materials, 
        biotechnology, and optical technologies;
          (2) to develop, maintain, and retain custody of the 
        national standards of measurement, and provide the 
        means and methods for making measurements consistent 
        with those standards;
          (3) to compare standards used in scientific 
        investigations, engineering, manufacturing, commerce, 
        industry, and educational institutions with the 
        standards adopted or recognized by the Federal 
        Government and to coordinate the use by Federal 
        agencies of private sector standards, emphasizing where 
        possible the use of standards developed by private, 
        consensus organizations;
          (4) to enter into contracts, including cooperative 
        research and development arrangements, and grants and 
        cooperative agreements, in furtherance of the purposes 
        of this Act;
          (5) to provide United States industry, Government, 
        and educational institutions with a national 
        clearinghouse of current information, techniques, and 
        advice for the achievement of higher quality and 
        productivity based on current domestic and 
        international scientific and technical development;
          (6) to assist industry in the development of 
        measurements, measurement methods, and basic 
        measurement technology;
          (7) to determine, compile, evaluate, and disseminate 
        physical constants and the properties and performance 
        of conventional and advanced materials when they are 
        important to science, engineering, manufacturing, 
        education, commerce, and industry and are not available 
        with sufficient accuracy elsewhere;
          (8) to develop a fundamental basis and methods for 
        testing materials, mechanisms, structures, equipment, 
        and systems, including those used by the Federal 
        Government;
          (9) to assure the compatibility of United States 
        national measurement standards with those of other 
        nations;
          (10) to cooperate with other departments and agencies 
        of the Federal Government, with industry, with State 
        and local governments, with the governments of other 
        nations and international organizations, and with 
        private organizations in establishing standard 
        practices, codes, specifications, and voluntary 
        consensus standards;
          (11) to advise government and industry on scientific 
        and technical problems;
          (12) to invent, develop, and (when appropriate) 
        promote transfer to the private sector of measurement 
        devices to serve special national needs; [and]
          (13) to coordinate Federal, State, and local 
        technical standards activities and conformity 
        assessment activities, with private sector technical 
        standards activities and conformity assessment 
        activities, with the goal of eliminating unnecessary 
        duplication and complexity in the development and 
        promulgation of conformity assessment requirements and 
        measures[.]; and
          (14) to identify and coordinate the development of 
        voluntary consensus forensic science standards to 
        enhance the validity and reliability of forensic 
        science activities.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *