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House Committee on Science, Space, and TechnologyResearch and TechnologyHouse Committee on the JudiciaryCrime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and InvestigationsIntroducedSeptember 9th, 2013
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Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2013
To establish scientific standards and protocols across forensic disciplines, and for other purposes.
Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2013 - Establishes a national forensic science research program to improve, expand, and coordinate federal research in forensic sciences. Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enter into an arrangement with the National Academies to develop a report identifying the most critical forensic science disciplines that require further research to strengthen the scientific foundation in those disciplines and making recommendations. Establishes a National Forensic Science Coordinating Office at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate among federal agencies: (1) the development of a unified federal research strategy to enhance the validity and reliability of forensic science disciplines; (2) the development of a five-year roadmap, updated triennially, for the unified strategy; and (3) any necessary programs, policies, and budgets to support implementation of the roadmap. Directs NSF to award forensic science basic research grants to improve the foundation and practice of forensic science in the United States, consistent with NSF's mission and the recommendations in the unified strategy. Requires NSF to: (1) award grants to support one or more forensic science research centers to conduct research consistent with the unified strategy and with NSF's mission, and (2) conduct a comprehensive evaluation of its full portfolio of forensic science research and education grants every four years. Authorizes a federal department, agency, or office to assist in satisfying the research needs and priorities identified in the unified federal research strategy by using specified prizes and challenges under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 or any other federal law. Requires the NIST to: (1) conduct research supporting the development and dissemination of methods, standards, and technical guidance for forensic science measurements, and (2) identify or coordinate the development of forensic science standards to enhance the validity and reliability of forensic science activities. Directs NIST to establish a Forensic Science Advisory Committee to provide advice to federal agencies, NIST, and the Department of Justice. Directs the Attorney General to promote the adoption of the standards developed under this Act.