Amendment #43 to H.55

Provide State Oversight of Crime Labs

Mr. Diehl of Whitman move that the bill be amended inserting the followng section:-



SECTION XX. Chapter 6 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 184A the following section:-



SECTION 184B. (a) There shall be established a forensic services drug laboratory oversight board within, but not subject to the control of, the executive office of public safety and security. The board shall consist of the secretary of public safety and security or a designee; the governor or a designee; the attorney general or a designee; the inspector general or a designee; and the colonel of state police or a designee.

(b) At the direction of the board, the undersecretary of public safety for forensic sciences shall advise and report to the board on the administration and delivery of forensic services at such facilities.

(c) The board shall have oversight authority over all commonwealth facilities engaged in forensic services in criminal investigations. The board shall ensure every such facility is actively accredited with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board and compliant with standards promulgated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The board shall receive quarterly reports from the undersecretary for forensic sciences which shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(i) the volume of forensic services at each facility;

(ii) the volume of forensic services of each employee at such facilities;

(iii) the costs and length of time from submission for testing or procedures and the return of results from such facilities;

(iv) compliance with accreditation standards of such facilities; and

(v) facility employee records, qualifications, and incident reports; provided, however, that any suspected or potential criminal wrongdoing shall be promptly referred to the attorney general for prosecution.

An electronic summary of said reports shall be submitted to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the chairs and ranking minority members of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security.

(d) The board shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out this section; provided, however, that said regulations shall require:

(i) facilities engaged in forensic services in criminal investigations to be actively accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board and compliant with standards promulgated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO);

(ii) the forensic sciences advisory board to hold not less than 1 public hearing a year; and

(iii) the undersecretary for forensic sciences to receive anonymous complaints of employee or facility misfeasance or deviation from accreditation standards;

The oversight board shall consider the input of the forensic sciences advisory board prior to implementing said rules and regulations.