You may have noticed a lack of activity on this website and from SWGTREAD in general. There is a good reason for this; the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was recently stood up. The seed for this organization was planted back in February 2013 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and NIST was announced. This MOU transferred the responsibility of administering the scientific working groups (SWGs) from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to NIST. NIST initially had intentions of naming the working groups under their administration guidance groups as an alternative to scientific working groups. However, when this organization was stood up in 2014, the enterprise was titled the Organization of Scientific Area Committees. OSAC is NIST’s effort to strengthen forensic science in the U.S. The primary objectives of this organization are to support the development and promulgation of consensus based forensic science standards and to ensure that there is sufficient scientific basis for each forensic science discipline. Within OSAC, there are discipline-specific subcommittees, including the Footwear and Tire Subcommittee. 20 individuals, 9 of which are SWGTREAD members, were appointed to this subcommittee in October 2013.

With the implementation of the OSAC and the associated Footwear and Tire Subcommittee, SWGTREAD decided to discontinue its operations and focus its efforts on supporting the subcommittee. It is the goal of the subcommittee to transition the SWGTREAD work products to the OSAC. However, it is not clear how SWGTREAD’s online resources (the website and forum) will be transitioned to the OSAC so these resources will remain available until a suitable mechanism is identified. Existing SWGTREAD standards and guidelines will remain in effect (and available at this website) until comparable OSAC documents become available.

Please refer to the OSAC website, including the subcommittee’s page, for additional information and updates.