Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Newsletter

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source:  Lucy A. Davis, BHS, Chair, ASB Board of Directors

Over the past year, I have had the honor of representing the AAFS on the OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB). My position on this Board is to represent the AAFS membership concerning the OSAC process and selection of standards to be placed on the OSAC Registry. To date, eight standards have been selected. But this does not mean the OSAC Committees and Subcommittees have not been producing documents. These documents have originated in various methods, either by reviewing and revising existing standards or by the subcommittee starting a new document. While it seems that the OSAC process has been slow to be implemented, the Committees and Subcommittees have performed an excellent job developing an organization that encompasses more than 800 members and developing their procedures from scratch. The AAFS Board of Directors recently responded to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Request for Information on the OSAC 2.0. While the decision on the future lies with the NIST, it is important to the forensic science community to encourage the process to continue to move forward.

As many of you are aware, the OSAC regularly submits documents for conversion to national standards to the AAFS Standards Board (ASB). In fact, the OSAC members participate in many of the ASB’s consensus bodies and are also represented on the ASB Board of Directors. The ASB highly values its relationship with the OSAC. Of the numerous documents being drafted by the OSAC, more than 50 have been submitted to the ASB to undergo our standards development process.

While providing direct reports through the AAFS News Feed is one way I can keep the members apprised of the OSAC process, the OSAC provides excellent, up-to-date articles and information on their website. I would recommend all members visit the site. Given the important roles of both organizations for forensics, the OSAC has shared a link (below) to its newsletter, which AAFS members along with ASB members may find interesting and informative. Especially note the highlights from the latest OSAC Leadership Strategy Sessions (OLSS) and FSSB Meetings.

I represent AAFS and you at the OSAC FSSB. I would ask for any feedback you would like to provide or any question or comments. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at