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S. 3378 (112th): Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

7/12/2012--Introduced. Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012 - 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 a contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 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 NSF 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 create a merit-reviewed, competitive forensic science research grants program to improve the foundation and practice of forensic science in the United States, based on recommendations in the unified strategy.

Requires NSF to: (1) establish two forensic science research centers to conduct research consistent with the unified strategy, (2) award a grant of up to $10 million to each center, and (3) conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the grants program every four years.

Directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to identify or coordinate the development of forensic science standards to enhance the validity and reliability of forensic science activities.

Requires NIST to establish a Forensic Science Advisory Committee to provide advice to federal agencies, NIST, and the Department of Justice.

Instructs the Attorney General to promote the adoption of the standards developed under this Act.