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Bylaws of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods , Forensic Science Communications, April 2003

Bylaws of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods , Forensic Science Communications, April 2003

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April 2003 - Volume 5 - Number 2

Standards and Guidelines

Bylaws of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods

Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM)

Responsibilities of SWGDAM | Membership, Terms, and Vacancies
Executive Board Members' Responsibilities
Committees Empanelled by the Chairman | Meetings
Conduct of Business | Amendment of Bylaws

The Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM), formerly the Technical Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods, has adopted the following bylaws:

I. Responsibilities of SWGDAM

A. The FBI Director has charged SWGDAM with recommending revisions, as necessary, to the Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories and the Quality Assurance Standards for Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories.

B. SWGDAM shall serve as a forum to discuss, share, and evaluate forensic biology methods, protocols, training, and research to enhance forensic biology services.

C. When necessary, SWGDAM shall recommend and conduct research to develop and/or validate forensic biology methods.

II. Membership, Terms, and Vacancies

A. The membership of SWGDAM shall consist of an Executive Board and regular members. The term "member" shall be used to describe the Executive Board and regular members.

B. The Executive Board shall consist of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Secretary, and five members. All members of the Executive Board shall have voting privileges, except the Executive Secretary.

1. The Chairman shall be appointed by the FBI Director.

2. The Vice-Chairman shall be appointed by the Chairman.

3. The Executive Secretary shall be appointed by the Chairman.

4. Executive Board member selection

a. The Chairman will nominate seven regular members to be placed on an election ballot. The nominations will not include more than two FBI regular members.

b. By vote, the membership will select five of the nominated individuals. The Chairman will vote in the event of a tie.

c. The Executive Secretary and a two-member panel appointed by the Chairman will count the ballots and report the results to the Chairman. The Executive Secretary will record the results of the election in the official minutes.

C. Regular members shall be appointed by the Chairman based on the recommendation of a Membership Committee.

1. The Membership Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chairman and two Executive Board members. The Membership Committee shall receive nominations, in a form and manner determined by the Chairman, and make recommendations to the Chairman for the regular member positions. The recommendations shall, to the extent possible, provide representation from federal, state, and local forensic laboratories as well as the geographic regions of the United States (i.e., Northeast, Atlantic, South, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, and West).

2. Regular members shall serve in a representational capacity of a federal, state, or local forensic laboratory.

3. Regular members shall have voting privileges.

D. The Chairman may invite guests to participate in meetings. Invited guests shall not be considered members of SWGDAM and shall have no voting privileges.

E. The term of the Chairman will be determined by the FBI Director. The initial term for the Vice-Chairman, Executive Secretary, and Executive Board members shall be three years. Regular members shall be appointed for three-year terms. Subsequent terms of appointment for all members shall be three years.

F. A vacancy may occur as a result of the death of a member, resignation of a member, resignation of a member from the federal, state, or local forensic laboratory that nominated him/her, or completion of a member's term. In the event of a member's absence from three consecutive meetings without good cause, the Chairman may remove that member from SWGDAM. A vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed for the initial appointment of that member for the remainder of that member's term.

III. Executive Board Members' Responsibilities

A. The Chairman shall manage the activities of the Board and perform all duties incident to the office of Chair, including but not limited to, scheduling meetings, preparing the agenda, presiding at meetings, nominating Executive Board members, appointing regular members, appointing committees, inviting guests to meetings, assigning tasks to members or committees, acting as spokesperson for SWGDAM, and forwarding recommendations on to the FBI Director.

B. The Vice-Chairman shall serve as the Chairman and preside over meetings in the absence of the Chairman, with the agenda set by the Chairman.

C. The Executive Secretary shall perform duties assigned by the Chairman or the Executive Board and shall perform all administrative duties incident to the office of Executive Secretary, including but not limited to, preparing summary minutes of the meetings, maintaining records of meetings, and keeping custody of the records and communications to SWGDAM. Staff provided by the FBI may assist the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary will have no voting privileges.

D. The Executive Board shall review and evaluate all recommendations made by SWGDAM committees and vote on the recommendations. A majority of the total number of members of the Executive Board (four) constitutes a quorum. The affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the Executive Board, at which a quorum is present, shall be required to approve recommendations to be presented to the FBI Director. A vote by the Executive Board shall be considered the final action on a committee's recommendation.

IV. Committees Empanelled by the Chairman

A. Committee selection

1. The SWGDAM Chairman will select the members of committees. Executive Committee members may serve on committees but cannot serve as chairman or cochairman.

2. The committee will select a chairman and cochairman as their first order of business by vote. The SWGDAM Chairman will vote in the event of a tie.

B. All members appointed by the SWGDAM Chairman to serve on a committee shall have voting privileges with respect to committee business. A majority of the total number of members of the committee constitutes a quorum. The affirmative vote of the majority of the members of a committee, at which a quorum is present, shall be an act of the committee.

C. Committee business

1. The committee will report regularly to the membership on the status of their delegated task(s).

2. The committee, on completion of their task(s), will advise the SWGDAM Chairman.

3. The committee will distribute a draft copy of the committee report to the membership for technical review. The membership will have 30 working days to respond to the committee chairman. A technical review is a written evaluation of the committee's findings and/or report.

4. The committee will make a final report to the SWGDAM membership after evaluating the technical reviews.

5. The committee will submit the final report to the Executive Board. Based on the Executive Board's recommendations, following a successful executive review, the SWGDAM Chairman will either:

a. Distribute the completed report to the membership and place the topic on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled SWGDAM meeting for a majority vote.

or

b. Accept the report and distribute, publish, or archive, as necessary, without a membership vote.

6. Once it is determined that all issues assigned to the committee by the Chairman have been addressed, the committee shall be dissolved by the SWGDAM Chairman.

V. Meetings

A. SWGDAM shall meet at least twice a year or as the Chairman directs.

B. All members shall be notified of meetings as far in advance as feasible.

C. The FBI, contingent on funding, shall make travel and lodging arrangements for the members.

D. Executive Board and regular members shall receive no compensation or honoraria in lieu of salary or wages for time spent attending SWGDAM meetings or working on SWGDAM business.

VI. Conduct of Business

A. A majority of the total number of members constitutes a quorum.

B. The affirmative vote of the majority of the members, at which a quorum is present, shall be an act of SWGDAM.

VII. Amendment of Bylaws

A. Proposed amendments to the bylaws shall be provided to members at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which they are to be voted on.

B. A majority of the total number of members constitutes a quorum.

C. The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members, at which a quorum is present, shall be required to approve amendments to the bylaws.

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