2011 ByLaws Scientific Working Group for Gunshot Residue

 

1. NAME:  

 

1.1.  The name of this organization shall be the Scientific Working Group for Gunshot Residue, hereinafter referred to as SWGGSR.

1.2. The mailing address shall be:  Michael A Trimpe  Chair, SWGGSR, 3159 Eden Ave., Cincinnati, OH  45219

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2. PURPOSE:

 

2.1. The purpose of SWGGSR is to promulgate and foster development of:

2.1.1. International protocols and/or guides for the collection and analysis of gunshot residues.

2.1.2. Training and quality assurance guidelines for gunshot residue collection and analysis. 

2.2. Toward this end, SWGGSR shall:

2.2.1 Develop and carry out programs and activities to achieve the above purpose.

2.2.2. Encourage research and development of new techniques in the field of forensic gunshot residue analyses.

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3. ORGANIZATION:

 

3.1. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the sponsor of SWGGSR.

3.1.1. The Scientific Functional Committees, shall be designated as the Scientific Working Group for Gunshot Residues (SWGGSR).

3.2 SWGGSR shall be divided into administrative and functional Sub-committees:

3.2.1 Administrative Committees

3.2.1.1 Membership

3.2.1.2 Electronic

3.2.2 Functional Committees 

3.2.2.1    Ammunition

3.2.2.2    Contamination

3.2.2.3    Instrumentation

3.2.2.4    Methodology                        

3.2.2.5    Training

3.2.2.6    Testimony      

3.3   Committees may be created or abolished by a simple majority vote of the membership. 

3.3.1 Recommendations for creation or abolishment of committees may be made by petition to the membership signed by ten (10) SWGGSR members.                 

3.3.2 Committees that have completed their assigned tasks or become inactive may be placed into an inactive status by a simple majority vote of the membership.

3.3.2.1 These committee members will constitute a reserve pool from which new committees may be formed.

 3.3.2.2 SWGGSR members in a reserve status may also be appointed to existing or new committees based on available openings in those committees.

3.3.3 Ad Hoc Committees may also be appointed at the Chair’s discretion.

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4. MEMBERSHIP:

 

4.1 All SWGGSR members must be practicing professionals involved in the investigation and/or training/education of gunshot residue, and/or the laboratory analysis of gunshot residues, except those identified in 4.2.   

4.1.1 Members must have five (5) years work experience in their discipline.

4.1.2 Members are encouraged to present SWGGSR with a letter from their organization’s appropriate administrative authority acknowledging their approval for the member’s participation.

4.1.2.1 A membership application shall be filled out for every member, and held on file by the Membership Committee.

4.1.2.2  Membership applications shall be designed, revised, disseminated and maintained by the Membership Committee. 

4.1.3 Prospective members shall fill out a membership application that has the signed support of two members.  All candidates for membership shall be subject to review by the Membership Committee.  

4.1.4 The Membership Committee will consider representative criteria such as: agency type (federal, state, local, private), geographical area, prior committee service, etc.  

4.1.5 No person shall be denied membership for reason of race, sex, creed, or religion.

4.1.6 SWGGSR shall collect no monetary dues payments from its members.

4.1.7 The total number of individuals comprising SWGGSR shall be limited to

thirty (30).

4.2 It may be necessary to add members outside of the gunshot residue laboratory analysis field as stated in 4.1.  This would occur when special expertise is required (e.g. in the fields of safety, training, quality assurance, previous research and legal issues) which cannot be provided by a person as described in 4.1.

4.2.1 Committee Chairs who have identified such individuals may request a membership exemption in writing to the Chair.

4.2.2 The membership must approve such an exemption by a simple majority vote of those present or voting.

4.2.3 The individual’s name and the exemption may then be submitted to the Membership Committee who will examine them under the same review and approval process as stated in 4.1.2.1.

4.3 All members of SWGGSR shall be a member of one of the functional or administrative committees of SWGGSR.

4.4 In order to mitigate the expenses incumbent upon the sponsor (NIJ), functional committees shall be limited to maximum number(s) of members for which the sponsor (NIJ) is responsible for travel reimbursements and NIJ shall have the final decision on funding. 

4.4.1 This does not limit the size or membership of committees to a maximum number.   It limits the number of members for which the sponsor (NIJ) is responsible for funding.       

4.4.1.1 A member’s employing agency may assume all travel, lodging, and board accommodations for their employees. 

4.4.1.2 Two members may be from the same agency, however, no SWGGSR committee may have two of its members from the same agency. 

4.5 As the meetings and funding of SWGGSR is primarily limited in scope to the United States, the majority of SWGGSR members should be from the United States.  As our mission is to make recommendations for internationally recognized guidelines, some  SWGGSR members shall be from countries other than the United States.

4.5.1  If exceptional circumstances exist where a member is unable to attend a meeting a proxy may be sent in his/her place within the following limitations:

4.5.1.1  A written request must be sent to the chairman stating the reason for sending the proxy, and giving temporary voting rights to the proxy.

4.5.1.2  Any person nominated to act as proxy is required to have qualifications suitable for membership.  A completed membership application must accompany the request to serve as proxy and sent to the chair for approval.

4.5.1.3  Only five proxies may be accepted per meeting.  If there are more than five requests the first five requests received and accepted will be allowed to attend.

4.5.1.4  If NIJ has to limit the amount of members financed to attend a meeting, proxies will be the first to be rejected financing.

4.6 Membership in SWGGSR entitles the holder to:

4.6.1. One vote per member. (Unless two members are from the same agency in which there will be one vote per agency)

4.6.2. To vote in all assigned committee(s) and SWGGSR meetings, functions, or assigned projects.

4.7 Termination of Membership

4.7.1 By written request of the member to the Chair of SWGGSR.  The Chair shall inform SWGGSR of such termination at the next regular meeting.

4.7.2 Members may also be involuntarily terminated for cause.  Cause is defined as: unethical conduct, conduct detrimental to the welfare of SWGGSR, nonparticipation, or a change in principal occupation.

4.7.2.1 Charges of unethical conduct or conduct detrimental to the welfare of SWGGSR or nonparticipation must be presented to the Membership Committee as a signed letter of complaint and must document reason(s) justifying the charge. 

4.7.2.1.1 Should the subject of such a charge be a member of the Membership Committee, the charges are to be presented to the Chair

4.7.2.2 The Membership Committee of SWGGSR shall appoint a panel of three members to conduct an investigation of the charges.

4.7.2.2.1 Should the subject of the investigation be a member of the Membership Committee, the Chair shall appoint a committee of three SWGGSR members to conduct an investigation.

4.7.2.3 Persons charged shall be allowed forty-five (45) days after receiving written notification of charges to prepare a written appeal to the Membership Committee.

4.7.3 Membership will be terminated involuntarily by a simple majority vote of SWGGSR Membership Committee after a thorough review of the written report of investigation of the charges being submitted.

4.7.3.1 Should a member of the Membership Committee be the subject of investigation, they may be terminated involuntarily by a simple majority vote of SWGGSR membership after a thorough review of the written report of investigation of the charges being submitted.

4.8 The sponsor (NIJ) shall defend and indemnify every member acting on behalf of SWGGSR on any matter involving SWGGSR.

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5. OFFICERS:

 

5.1. The officers of SWGGSR shall consist of the following and shall hold terms of office as indicated:

5.1.1. Chair, two (2) years

5.1.2. Vice-Chair, two (2) years

5.1.3. Committee Chairs, three (3) years

5.1.3.1. Committee Chairs terms may not exceed the period of time which their committee is in existence.

5.1.3.2. If a committee is placed in an inactive status, the former chair shall be moved to regular member status.

5.2. Elections

5.2.1. All officers may serve up to two consecutive terms.

5.2.2. SWGGSR Chair and Vice Chair shall be elected by a majority vote of the members.

5.2.3. SWGGSR Committee Chairs will be elected by a majority vote of the committee members.

5.2.4. Voting may be by ballot or a show of hands or by email vote with the numbers recorded.

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6. DUTIES OF OFFICERS:

 

6.1. Chair of SWGGSR shall preside over general meetings, any and all special committees (SWGGSR), and recommend establishment of committees as necessary.  The Chair shall also make recommendations and assign tasks to committees as necessary.   The Chair shall also appoint ad hoc committees as necessary.  

6.2. Vice-Chair of SWGGSR shall assist the Chair in his or her duties and act for the Chair in his or her absence.

6.3. Committee Chairs shall preside over their committee meetings and as directed by Chair/Vice Chair prepares written progress reports.

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7. MEETINGS:

 

7.1. SWGGSR shall have at least one open general meeting every 1 year.

7.2 The Chair of SWGGSR may call for additional meetings at any time.

7.3. To the extent possible, notice of the meetings will be communicated to each member at least sixty (60) days before the meeting date. 

7.4 Visitors may be invited to attend SWGGSR meetings at the discretion of the Chair/Vice Chair of SWGGSR.

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8. COMMITTEES:

 

8.1. Committee Chairs will be elected by the provisions of 5.2.

8.2. The Chair of SWGGSR will appoint a standing Membership Committee.

8.2.1. SWGGSR Membership Committee will have five members; SWGGSR Vice Chair, the Chair of two functional committees and two members at large.

8.2.2. The Membership Committee shall review and approve/disapprove all candidates for membership.

8.3 The Chair of SWGGSR shall elicit nominations from the membership to make up the committee memberships. 

8.4. The Chair shall make the final selection and appointment to committee’s from this pool of nominees.

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9. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY:

 

9.1. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the general meetings of SWGGSR in all cases to which its rules are applicable.

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10. AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS:

 

10.1. Proposed amendments to the Bylaws shall be submitted to the Chair/Vice Chair of SWGGSR sixty (60) days prior to a vote and the membership will receive proposed amendments from the Chair at least forty-five (45) days prior to a vote.

10.2. Amendments to bylaws shall require a two-thirds positive vote of SWGGSR members.

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11. FINANCES:

 

11.1. SWGGSR will have no funds or assets. 

11.2. Its sponsor (NIJ) to the extent possible will fund SWGGSR operating expenses. 

11.3. The sponsor (NIJ) shall have sole authority in all financial related matters.

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12. COMMUNICATIONS:

 

12.1. All official SWGGSR communications, oral and written, must be approved by the Chair/Vice Chair of SWGGSR. 

12.1.1. Communications include, but are not limited to, speeches, letters, reports, records, surveys, protocols, guidelines, etc.

12.2 Communications described in 12.1.1. shall be considered the intellectual property of SWGGSR.

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13. ACTION ITEMS:

 

13.1 An action item is defined as the professional work product of SWGGSR.  Action items would include such work products as protocols, training guidelines and position requirements.

13.2 Action items will generally be ratified in a two-stage process. 

13.2.1. First, the action item must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the sponsoring committee and conveyed to the Chair of SWGGSR for review by the membership of SWGGSR.  The recommended review period should be for a minimum of sixty (60) calendar days. 

13.2.2. Second, the Chair of SWGGSR will present the action item to SWGGSR membership for discussion and ratification.  Ratification requires a two-thirds vote of SWGGSR membership.

13.3 Administrative procedures for SWGGSR are as follows: Action items must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the sponsoring committee.

13.3.1 Action items shall be characterized as either:

13.3.2.1 An Article – This is a document prepared by a committee to (1) advertise the work of the committee or (2) elicit input from individuals outside the committee.  It is intended for publication in an appropriate venue (Journal of Forensic Science, Regional Newsletters, ASTM, etc…).

13.3.2.2 A Position – This is a document prepared by a committee that proposes that SWGGSR support and endorse a particular point of view on a subject germane to the purpose of SWGGSR.  It may be used to submit SWGGSR endorsed changes or additions to other standards/guide making organizations (ASTM, IAMA, etc…).

13.3.2.3 A Guide – A document that outlines a series of options or instructions.   It does not recommend a specific course of action.  The Guide suggests an approach that may allow the user to achieve their goal.  

13.3.2.4 A Standard – A document that outlines a series of actions and instructions.  It recommends a specific course of action.  A Standard fully defines procedures that will allow a user to achieve their goal.

13.3.3 The sponsoring committee shall categorize the action item as either a DRAFT or FINAL version.

13.3.4 DRAFT and FINAL Articles, Positions, and Products do not require a period of public review prior to dissemination.   Products will either stand or fall based on their perceived value to their customer base. The very nature of Articles and Positions will be to elicit the comments of the affected communities.

13.3.4.1 They may be created and recommended to the Chair of SWGGSR at any time by a committee.

13.3.4.2 It is the discretion of the chair to either take action by remote communication (email) or wait until a quorum has gathered at a general session.

13.3.4.3 The Chair will disseminate a copy of the Article/Position or description of the Product to the members of SWGGSR along with a ballot or email.

13.3.4.4 If in general session, the Chair shall set aside an appropriate amount of time for members to read the article/position or description of product.   The chair of the sponsoring committee or their designee shall be available for a short discussion period prior to a vote by the general body.

13.3.4.5 If action is taken by remote communication (email), the article/position or description of product shall be mailed/emailed to SWGGSR members. 

13.3.4.5.1 Members will have fifteen (15) days from the postmark of the mailing to return their ballot.

13.3.4.6 A positive vote by a two-thirds majority of SWGGSR members who are present at the general meeting or who respond before the end of the mail/email balloting period shall be sufficient to pass the article/position or description of product. 

13.3.4.7 Draft products may be provided to select focus groups prior to any general session actions in order to obtain feedback for developing the FINAL PRODUCT.

13.3.5 DRAFT and FINAL Drafts of Guides and Standards require a period of review.

13.3.5.1 DRAFT Guides and Standards may be proposed at any time by a sponsoring committee.   They are to be submitted to the SWGGSR Chair.

13.3.5.2 The SWGGSR Chair will ensure that the DRAFT document is posted to the designated website for a period of no less than thirty (30) days for member review.

13.3.5.3 Comments received will be directed to the sponsoring committee.

13.3.5.4 Based on review and comments the sponsoring committee must either 1) abandon the Guide or Standard, 2) Modify and submit a new DRAFT, or 3) prepare a FINAL DRAFT version of the Guide or Standard.

13.3.5.5 FINAL DRAFTS of Guides and Standards must be posted to the designated website for a period of no less than thirty (30) days for public review.

13.3.5.6 Comments received from the public review will be directed to the members.

13.3.5.7 After the appropriate review period, FINAL DRAFT Guides or Standards may be taken to the members of SWGGSR for final action or be referred back to the sponsoring committee.

13.3.5.8 For final action, it is the discretion of the Chair to take a vote by remote communication or wait until a quorum has gathered at a general session.

13.3.5.9 The Chair will disseminate a copy of the FINAL DRAFT Guides or Standards to the members of SWGGSR along with a ballot.

13.3.5.10 If in general session, the Chair shall set aside what he or she determines to be an appropriate amount of time for members to read the FINAL DRAFT Guides or Standards.   The Chair of the sponsoring committee or their designee shall be available for a short discussion period prior to a vote by the general body.

13.3.5.11 If an action is taken by remote communication, the FINAL DRAFT Guides or Standards shall be mailed/emailed to SWGGSR members.  Members will have fifteen (14) days from the postmark of the mailing to return their ballot.

13.3.5.12 Positive vote by a two-thirds majority of SWGGSR members who are present at the general meeting or who respond before the end of the balloting period shall be sufficient to pass the Guides or Standards.

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14. VOTING:

 

14.1 One vote per member or agency as described in paragraph 4.6.1.

14.2 The terms “majority” or “simple majority” are defined as one vote above fifty percent of all positive and negative votes received, within the voting time frame as defined in the by-laws.

14.3 The term “two-thirds majority” will be determined by the total number of positive and negative votes received within the voting time frame as defined in the by-laws.

14.4 The terms “abstentia” or “abstained” are defined as a non-vote and will not be counted against the total number of votes cast.

14.5 Voting may be by ballot or by show of hands or by email response. 

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