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Bylaws of the Scientific Working Group on Medicolegal Death Investigation (SWGMDI)

ARTICLE I: OFFICIAL NAME

The name of the organization shall be the Scientific Working Group on Medicolegal Death Investigation, and shall herein be referred to as SWGMDI.

 

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

2.1 Purpose To support and promote the forensic application and advancement of medicolegal death investigation through the development and dissemination of consensus-based standards, guidelines, best practices, and recommendations.

2.2 Objectives SWGMDI shall at a minimum:

Define the scope and practice areas of the discipline(s) of medicolegal death investigation

Recommend standard practices, protocols, reports, and terminology

Recommend education, training, and professional development requirements

Promulgate and disseminate research and development priorities to the community

Collect and distribute discipline-specific evidenced based information

Promote international recognition and harmonization of appropriate SWGMDI work products

 

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

3.1 Eligibility Members shall have subject matter expertise relevant to the discipline of medicolegal death investigation.

3.1.1 No person shall be denied membership for reason of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

3.2 Membership

3.2.1 Members shall have voting privileges.

3.2.2 Members shall be elected by a simple majority vote of the membership.

3.2.3 Members shall serve 3 year terms. A Members’ term shall commence with the first meeting after his or her election. When a Member’s term ends between 2 meetings, he or she continues until the conclusion of the next meeting.

3.2.4 Members may apply for additional terms following Section 3.4.

3.2.5 Members are expected to participate in all regular meetings.

3.2.6 Membership resides with the individual and not his or her agency or affiliation.

3.2.7 In some cases, supporting organizations are afforded a Member seat on SWGMDI. These positions shall be appointed by the supporting organization and approved by the Executive Board (see Section 3.4).

3.3 Composition SWGMDI shall consist of no more than 40 Members. At a minimum, 10% of the Members shall be academics, researchers, statisticians, and/or legal representatives, etc. (individuals whose primary duties are not currently, nor have been in the past, forensic casework).

3.3.1 To the extent possible, if more than one legal representative serves on SWGMDI then legal representation should be balanced between prosecutors, defense counsel, civil counsel, and judges.

3.3.2 Membership on SWGMDI shall, to the extent possible, include federal, state, local, international, and private forensic practitioners as well as representatives from different geographic regions of the United States.

3.4 Member Appointments and Elections Member appointments and elections shall be managed by a Membership Committee (see Section 7.5).

3.4.1 The Membership Committee shall serve as the primary liaison to any supporting organizations regarding the appointment of representatives to SWGMDI. Organizations should appoint representatives with sufficient qualifications to substantively contribute to the objectives of the SWG.

3.4.2 The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (IACME), and the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) each holds two appointed Member seats on SWGMDI, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) each holds one appointed Member seat, and each may appoint its representatives.

3.4.2.1 For organizational representatives, the parent organization may replace its representative(s) at any time in compliance with Sections 3.2.7 and 3.4.1. The Membership Committee will request the parent organization to reassess their representative(s) every 3 years.

3.4.2.2 Termination of an organizational representative applies to the individual and not the Member seat on SWGMDI.

3.4.3 The Member roster shall be reviewed at least annually to prepare for anticipated membership changes and evaluate the composition of SWGMDI.  As vacancies occur, the need to elect Members will be determined by the membership. Elections may be limited to applicants whose primary duties are not currently, nor have been in the past, forensic casework, or specific representation as described in Section 3.3.2.

3.4.3.1 Elections shall be held annually, or more often, as deemed necessary by the membership.

3.4.3.2 Solicitation for Member applications shall be advertised on the SWGMDI website and distributed to appropriate professional forensic science and legal organizations, as well as venues which reach other stakeholders likely to be directly impacted by the work product.

3.4.4 Individuals interested in membership shall submit their names and pertinent background information to the Membership Committee. Pertinent information shall include qualifications, planned contribution, a written statement of support from the individual’s employer, if applicable, and a signed and dated copy of the “Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement” form (see Appendix A).

3.4.5 Prior to a Member’s last meeting of his or her current term, the Membership Committee shall contact the Member to determine his or her interest in continuing membership. If interested in continuing, the Member shall submit a written statement to the Membership Committee including his or her interest, past participation, planned future contribution, a current written statement of support from the individual’s employer, if applicable, and a signed and dated copy of the “Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement” form (see Appendix A).

3.4.6 The Membership Committee shall assess individual Member applications to ensure they meet defined minimum criteria and make recommendations to the membership on potential candidates.

3.4.7 New member applicants and those applying for consideration for additional terms shall be eligible for the same vacant seats (except as provided for in Section 3.4.3).

3.4.8 Elections shall be anonymous.

3.4.9 The Membership Committee shall forward their recommendations, along with accompanying information provided by all applicants meeting defined minimum criteria, at least 10 days prior to the election. Members shall be given the opportunity to speak on any applicant’s behalf, or if applying for an additional term, their own behalf.

3.4.10 Election of an individual requires a simple majority vote of the membership. Appointments are awarded to those candidates with the greatest number of votes. In the event of a tie for a remaining vacancy, a subsequent vote between the tied candidates will be taken. Should the second vote result in a tie, the Chair may choose to terminate the election process or cast a single vote to break the tie.

3.4.10.1 Each Member has one vote for each vacant position, except in the case of a second tie vote for which the Chair may vote a second time to break the tie.

3.4.11 If a vote to fill a vacant position fails to produce a simple majority for approval, the Chair may take another vote with the candidate(s) with the least number of votes removed from the ballot, or the election may be terminated and the recruitment process reopened.

3.4.12 Votes shall be counted by the Membership Committee and election results forwarded to the Chair. For between meeting elections, results shall be forwarded to the Chair no later than 5 days after the conclusion of the election process.

3.4.13 All Members and applicants considered for membership shall be notified of the election outcome by the Chair no later than 10 days after the conclusion of the election process.


ARTICLE IV: EXECUTIVE BOARD

4.1 Authority The Executive Board shall be the managing body of SWGMDI.

4.2 Makeup The Executive Board shall consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary. It may also include At-Large Members as deemed appropriate by SWGMDI.

4.2.1 Positions on the Executive Board shall be elected.

4.3 Eligibility and Terms

4.3.1 The terms of these positions shall be 3 years. The Member may be re-elected to office, but he or she may serve no more than a total of 2 terms per office.

4.3.2 The terms of these positions shall commence at the conclusion of the meeting in which they are elected. When a Member’s elected term ends between two meetings, the Member shall continue in the position until the conclusion of the next meeting.

4.3.3 When a Member is elected to a position on the Executive Board for a fixed term which extends beyond the remaining length of the Member’s membership term, the elected individual’s membership term shall continue until the end of the elected position’s term.

4.3.4 Members may only hold/fill one position at a time.

4.4 Election and Re-election

4.4.1 An announcement to hold an election for positions on the Executive Board shall be distributed to the Members by the Secretary.

4.4.2 Nominations shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary, except in the case of the Secretary position when the nominations shall be submitted to the Chair.

4.4.2.1 Nominations may be accepted from the floor.

4.4.3 Election and re-election shall be anonymous and will require a simple majority vote of the membership.

4.5 Resignation Notice of resignation shall be in writing to the remaining Executive Board members.

4.6 Chair The Chair shall manage the activities of SWGMDI, preside over meetings to preserve order and decorum, and promote the objectives of SWGMDI. In addition, the Chair shall establish committees as deemed necessary.

4.6.1 If, at any time during a Chair’s tenure, that person is temporarily unable to serve, the Vice-Chair shall serve in his or her place. In the event of the Chair’s resignation or inability to serve for more than 6 months, a successor will be elected to serve out the remaining term following Section 4.4. If the incumbent is unavailable at the time of this election, the Vice-Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair for the purpose of calling a meeting to elect a new Chair.

4.6.2 The Chair or his or her designee may invite guests to attend a meeting(s). Funding for invited guests is at the discretion of the funding organization. Invited guests shall not be considered Members and shall not be granted voting privileges.

4.7 Vice-Chair The Vice-Chair shall assist the Chair in his or her duties as needed, preside over the Membership Committee, oversee the other committees established by the Chair, and fill in for the Chair, when needed.

4.7.1 If, at any time during a Vice-Chair’s tenure, that person is temporarily unable to serve, the Chair shall, at his or her discretion, designate a Member to serve in the Vice-Chair’s place. In the event of the Vice-Chair’s resignation or inability to serve for more than 6 months, a successor will be elected to serve out the remaining term following Section 4.4.

4.8 Secretary The Secretary shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the Chair and shall perform all administrative duties incident to the office including, but not necessarily limited to the following: preparing summary minutes of meetings and maintaining records of meetings (to include Member participation) and work products.

4.8.1 If, at any time during a Secretary’s tenure, the person is temporarily unable to serve, the Chair shall, at his or her discretion, designate a Member to serve in the Secretary’s place. In the event of the Secretary’s resignation or inability to serve for more than 6 months, a successor will be elected to serve out the remaining term following Section 4.4.

4.9 At-Large Members  At-Large Members shall act as advisors to the Chair, act as a liaison with the membership, and perform all other duties as specified in these Bylaws.

4.9.1 If, at any time during an At-Large Member’s tenure, the person is temporarily unable to serve, the Chair shall, at his or her discretion, designate a Member to serve in the At-Large Member’s place. In the event of the At-Large Member’s resignation or inability to serve for more than 6 months, a successor will be elected to serve out the remaining term following Section 4.4.


ARTICLE V: TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

5.1 Termination of Membership  A Member may be terminated for insufficient participation or for cause.

5.1.1 Insufficient Participation  The Secretary shall maintain records of participation in meetings. In the event that a Member does not participate in more than 2 meetings within a 2 year period or a majority of telephonic/web-conferences, or attends, but consistently fails to actively contribute to work products, the Secretary shall notify the Membership Committee and the Chair in writing. The Chair may forward notification and supporting documentation to the SWGMDI funding/managing organization for evaluation and appropriate action.

5.1.2 For Cause  Any SWGMDI Member or Advisor, or member of the public may submit a written complaint to the Chair to terminate the membership of another Member. The complaint shall contain specific information that supports termination. The Membership Committee shall report all complaints and subsequent actions to the Chair. The Chair shall forward the complaint to the SWGMDI funding/managing organization for evaluation and appropriate action.

5.1.3 Termination Only the funding/managing organization may terminate a Member for insufficient participation or for cause.

5.2 Resignation  A Member may withdraw/resign at any time with written notice to the Membership Committee and the Chair.

 

ARTICLE VI: MEETINGS

6.1 Regular Meetings There shall be a minimum of 2 regular meetings per year. Regular meetings should be 3 to 5 days in length.

6.1.1 Guests may be invited to participate in a meeting. Invitations will be extended by the Chair or his or her designee. Funding for invited guests is at the discretion of the funding organization.

6.2 Special Meetings Special meetings may be called by the Chair. Consideration will be given to the funding organization for funding approval.

6.3 Notice of Meetings To the extent possible, notice of the regular meetings will be communicated to Members, Advisors (see Section 7.4), and invited guests at least 60 days in advance of the meeting date. Meeting dates shall be posted on the SWGMDI website.

6.4 Member Attendance Meetings will consist of Members and invited guests. If funding is available to cover the expenses of those attending, Members will be funded to attend each meeting.

6.5 Conduct of Meetings/Parliamentary Rules The simplest mechanism governing meetings will be used, and all Members shall follow good business practices during meetings. When a dispute arises or when deemed necessary by the Chair, the most current version of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed.

 

ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES

7.1 Establishment Committees and their membership shall be established by the Chair when deemed appropriate.

7.2 Presiding Officer The presiding officer of a new committee shall be a Member appointed by the Chair.

7.2.1 The presiding officer shall manage the activities of his or her committee. These duties include, but are not limited to, nominating members for appointment to the Committee, preparing committee meeting agendas, maintaining minutes and records of committee meetings, acting as a spokesperson for the committee, and forwarding draft documents and other work products to the SWGMDI membership.

7.3 Voting All individuals assigned to a committee may vote on issues addressed within the committee. Each member shall have one vote. The use of proxies is not permitted.

7.3.1 A simple majority of the committee membership shall represent a quorum. A quorum is required to conduct business.

7.3.2 Committee votes shall require a simple majority of the membership for approval.

7.4 Advisors When deemed necessary by the Chair to support a specific task, individuals who are not Members may be appointed for an appropriate time frame to assist with these activities. These individuals, referred to as “Advisors,” shall only have voting privileges within the committee, and are not typically funded nor expected to attend meetings.

7.5 Membership Committee The Membership Committee shall manage Member appointments and elections, complaints against Members, and Conflict of Interest Disclosures. The committee shall consist of the Vice-Chair, who shall serve as the presiding officer, and 2 to 4 Members proposed by the Chair and confirmed by a simple majority vote of the membership.

7.5.1 Any member of the Membership Committee running for election shall be recused from committee duties if necessary, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

7.6 Bylaws Committee The Bylaws Committee shall review and make recommendations to maintain and update the Bylaws, submit all proposed amendments approved by the membership to the funding and/or managing organization for review and approval, monitor that SWGMDI is operating within the parameters of the Bylaws, and keep the official copy of the Bylaws. The committee shall consist of 3 to 4 Members assigned by the Chair.

7.6.1 Proposed amendments to the Bylaws shall be submitted to the Chair for review and approval by the membership.

7.6.2 Notice shall be provided to the Chair of any infractions to the Bylaws.

 

ARTICLE VIII: PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

8.1 Process Product development may be achieved through the use of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) or by following a process which mimics that of an SDO. Prior to submitting work product to the SDO, SWGMDI  will follow the product development process outlined below and then follow all requirements of the SDO. Any work product not being submitted to an SDO must follow the procedures outlined in Appendix B.

8.1.1 Work products such as research priorities, reference compilations, position statements, and admissibility packages do not require submission to the SDO or following the procedures outlined in Appendix B.

8.2 Adoption of New Products The Members shall review and evaluate recommendations by committees regarding the adoption of standards, guidelines, and best practices. A vote by the Members shall be considered the final action on any committee recommendation.

8.2.1 When approved by a simple majority committee vote, the presiding officer(s) shall present the draft product(s) to the membership for review and evaluation.

8.2.2 After review and evaluation, the Members shall vote on the product. If approved, the product shall be posted as a “Draft for Comment.”

8.2.3 Draft documents for comment shall carry titles that describe their content. Each draft document should also clearly indicate whether it is to be considered as a standard, guideline, best practice, study, or other recommendation and/or finding.

8.2.4 “Draft for Comment” or other work products shall be published on the SWGMDI  website. The draft must be available for public comment for a minimum of 60 days. Notices announcing the open comment period and references to the SWGMDI  website shall be distributed to appropriate professional and legal organizations, as well as venues which reach other stakeholders likely to be directly impacted by the work product.

8.2.4.1 Each “Draft for Comment” or other work product will include the following instructions for submitting comments: “SWGMDI  encourages stakeholder participation in the preparation of documents. Suggestions for modifications are welcome and may be forwarded to the Secretary in writing.”  The following information is required as a part of the response:

(a) Submitter’s name

(b) Affiliation (agency/organization)

(c) Address

(d) Telephone number and/or email address

(e) Document title

(f) Change from (note document section number)

(g) Change to

(h) Basis for change

8.2.5 All public comments received shall be documented and forwarded to the appropriate committee for review and evaluation.

8.2.6 The decision of the committee, with justification, shall be communicated to the submitter by the Chair or his or her designee within 30 days of that decision.

8.2.6.1 Due process for all comments shall be documented and maintained for a period of 1 year.

8.2.7 Upon committee completion of the product, to include revisions resulting from the public comment period, the committee presiding officer(s) shall present the final product(s) to the membership for review and evaluation.

8.2.7.1 If a “Draft for Comment” undergoes a substantive modification after public comment, the product shall be considered a “Revised Draft for Comment” and shall repeat steps 8.2.1 through 8.2.7.

8.2.8 After review and evaluation, the Members shall vote on the product. If a 2/3 majority votes in favor of the final product, the product, shall become an “Approved Document.” It will then carry the date of approval and appropriate title under which it was circulated as a draft for comment, if unchanged by comment.

8.2.9 If the document is posted to the SWGMDI website, it shall follow the standard format which has been approved by the SWGMDI Board.

8.3 Sun-Setting of Products When a standard, guideline, best practice, or other work product is determined to be obsolete, a sunset date will be established and published to allow those systems using the work product to comply.

 

ARTICLE IX: VOTING

9.1 Quorum Participation by a majority of the SWGMDI  Members, including the Chair and/or Vice-Chair, is required to constitute a quorum. A quorum is required in order to conduct official business.

9.1.1 It is at the Chair’s discretion as to whether remote attendance is an acceptable form of participation for in-person meetings. If permitted, any Member who has been participating in the discussion may cast a vote via phone or electronically to the Secretary.

9.2 Member Votes Each Member shall have one vote. Proxies are not permitted.

9.3 Membership Elections Except in the case of Member elections, all materials to be considered for voting between meetings (electronic voting) shall be distributed at least 15 business days prior to the voting.

 

ARTICLE X: COMMUNICATION

10.1 Official Communications Official external communications shall be conveyed by the Chair or his or her designee.

10.1.1 Exceptions include communication as outlined in these Bylaws by the Membership Committee regarding membership applications and complaints, the Bylaws Committee when forwarding proposed amendments and updated Bylaws to the funding and/or managing organization, and routine business conducted by the Secretary.

10.2 Posting of Work Product The SWGMDI website shall be considered the normal vehicle for posting of all non-proprietary work products.

 

ARTICLE XI: BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS

11.1 Official Copy The Bylaws Committee shall keep the official copy of the Bylaws. Any time an amendment is made, the Bylaws shall be updated, posted on the website, and a copy sent to the funding and/or managing organization.

11.2 Notification and Adoption of Amendments To the extent possible, the Chair will submit proposed amendments to the Bylaws to the Secretary at least 30 days prior to the next scheduled meeting.

11.2.1 Members shall receive a copy of the proposed amendment(s) and notification that they will be presented for vote at the next scheduled meeting no later than 5 business days after the Secretary receives them.

11.2.2 A 2/3 majority vote is required to forward a proposed amendment to the funding and/or managing organization. Spelling, punctuation, and formatting changes to the Bylaws do not need to be approved by a vote nor forwarded to the funding and/or managing organization for approval.

11.3 Approval by Managing Organization All proposed amendments to the Bylaws shall be submitted by the Bylaws Committee to the SWGMDI managing organization for review. The organization may approve, reject, or return proposed amendments for changes. Notification of the decision shall be forwarded to the Bylaws Committee.

11.3.1 Amendments approved without change by the organization will become effective immediately unless otherwise stated.

11.3.2 If the organization does not take any action within 90 days after receipt, the submitted amendment or amendments are automatically approved without any further action by the organization.

11.3.3 Proposed amendments returned for change will be reviewed and evaluated and the Members may vote to:

Adopt the amendment with proposed changes and it will become effective immediately unless otherwise stated

Modify the original proposal and re-submit for approval

Discontinue the amendment process

11.3.3.1 If SWGMDI votes to adopt the amendment as proposed or discontinue the amendment process, the funding and/or managing organization shall be notified of the decision.

 

ARTICLE XII: CODE OF ETHICS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE PROCESS

12.1 Code of Ethics The Scientific Working Group on Medicolegal Death Investigation is comprised of professionals assembled in a collaborative effort to identify, develop, and disseminate consensus-based standards, guidelines, best practices, and recommendations for the benefit of the national and international forensic community and society in general. To protect the integrity of SWGs as deliberative bodies, Members and Advisors agree to abide by the following principles:

Comply with the bylaws of SWGMDI


Afford all SWGMDI work products and ongoing discussions specific to those work products appropriate confidentiality until such products are released


Avoid any personal and professional conduct which places or could be construed to place SWGMDI in the position of endorsing products or services for an individual’s own financial or personal gain or for the financial or other gain of the individual’s employer


Disclose to the Membership Committee any potential conflicts of interest, or the appearance of same, that may arise with respect to SWGMDI business


Provide public statements representing SWGMDI  policies or positions only upon approval of the Chair, and if approved, represent SWGMDI policies or positions accurately


Report complete and accurate data in connection with SWGMDI -related research


Report to the Membership Committee any information which would alter the responses provided on the membership application and/or Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement


Provide a complete and accurate representation of their education, training, experience, and area of expertise


Accurately represent their qualifications


Conduct themselves in a professional manner while in attendance at SWGMDI meetings and other events at which they are representing the group


12.2 Conflict of Interest Disclosure It is in the best interest of SWGMDI to be aware of and properly manage all actual, potential, and perceived conflicts of interest amongst those serving as Members and Advisors.


Members shall submit to the Membership Committee a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement as part of the membership appointment process and thereafter on a yearly basis during their term.


Advisors shall submit to the Membership Committee a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement as part of the committee appointment process and thereafter on a yearly basis while serving as committee members.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statements shall be retained by the Secretary according to the records retention policy (see Article XIII).


12.3 Managing the Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Disclosures The Membership Committee shall be responsible for maintaining the Code of Ethics and monitoring the conflict of interest disclosure process.

12.3.1 Violations of Code of Ethics Any SWGMDI Member or Advisor or member of the public may submit a written complaint to the Membership Committee regarding an alleged violation of the Code of Ethics by a Member or Advisor. The complaint shall contain specific information that supports the violation. The Membership Committee shall report all complaints to the Chair who shall forward the complaint to the SWGMDI funding/managing organization for evaluation and appropriate action.

12.3.2 Recusal of Members and Advisors Participating Members or Advisors shall recuse themselves from any process in which they believe they may have a conflict of interest. The Membership Committee may request that a Member or Advisor recuse him or herself if the presiding officer recognizes a potential conflict and believes it appropriate to do so.

12.3.3 Conflict of Interest Review in Application Process In instances real or possible conflicts of interest which may prevent the appointment of an applicant, the Membership Committee shall submit the information to the Chair who shall forward it to the SWGMDI funding/managing organization for evaluation and appropriate action.

12.3.4 Resolution of Conflicts of Interest If a conflict of interest arises after an individual has been accepted to membership, the Membership Committee shall submit the information to the Chair who shall forward it to the SWGMDI  funding/managing organization for evaluation and appropriate action.

12.3.5 Termination for Conflicts of Interest Only the funding/managing organization may disallow membership or terminate a Member or Advisor based upon a conflict of interest or for a violation of the Code of Ethics.

 

ARTICLE XIII: RECORDS RETENTION

All records shall be retained according to a formal records retention policy.

Last Modified 11.29.12

 

 

 

Appendix B
Product Development Policy When Not Using a Standards Development Organization (SDO)


B.1 Adoption of New Products The Members shall review and evaluate recommendations by committees regarding the adoption of standards, guidelines, best practices, studies, and other recommendations and/or findings. A vote by the Members shall be considered the final action on any committee recommendation.

B.1.1 When approved by a simple majority committee vote, the presiding officer(s) shall present the draft product(s) to the membership for review and evaluation.

B.1.1.1 If working between meetings, to the extent possible, the committee presiding officer(s) shall notify the Chair to request placement on the next scheduled meeting agenda at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

B.1.2 After review and evaluation, the Members shall vote on the product. If approved, the product shall be published. Those products which will be open for public comments shall be posted as a “Draft for Comment.” If not approved, the product shall be sent back to committee.

B.1.3 Draft documents for comment shall carry titles that describe their content. Each draft document should also clearly indicate whether it is to be considered as a standard, guideline, best practice, study, or other recommendation and/or finding.

B.1.4 “Draft for Comment” or other work products shall be published on the SWGMDI website. Drafts must be available for public comment for a minimum of 60 days. Notices announcing the open comment period, an explanation of the need for the work product, and references to the SWGMDI website shall be distributed to appropriate professional and legal organizations, as well as venues which reach other stakeholders likely to be directly impacted by the work product.

B.1.4.1 Each “Draft for Comment” or other work product will include the following instructions for submitting comments: “SWGMDI encourages stakeholder participation in the preparation of documents. Suggestions for modifications are welcome and may be forwarded to the Secretary in writing. The following information is required as a part of the response:

(a) Submitter’s name

(b) Affiliation (agency/organization)

(c) Address

(d) Telephone number and/or email address

(e) Document title and version number

(f) Change from (note document section number)

(g) Change to

(h) Basis for change”

B.1.5 All public comments received shall be documented and forwarded to the appropriate committee for review and evaluation. An effort will be made to resolve all expressed objections related to the work product under consideration.

B.1.6 The decision of the committee, with justification, shall be communicated in writing to the submitter by the Chair or his or her designee within 30 days of that decision. In addition, the submitter will be notified of the appeals process as outlined in section B.4.

B.1.6.1 Due process for all comments shall be documented and maintained for a period of 1 year.

B.1.7 Upon committee completion of the product, to include revisions resulting from the public comment period, the committee presiding officer(s) shall present the final product(s) to the membership for review and evaluation.

B.1.7.1 If a “Draft for Comment” undergoes a substantive modification after public comment, the product shall be considered a “Revised Draft for Comment” and shall repeat steps B.1.1 through B.1.7.

B.1.8 After review and evaluation, the Members shall vote on the product. If a 2/3 majority votes in favor of the final product, the product shall become an “Approved Document.” It will then carry the date of approval and appropriate title under which it was circulated as a draft for comment, if unchanged by comment.

B.2 Amendments Proposed amendments to “Approved Documents” may be made by the membership or the public at any time.

B.2.1 Proposed changes to existing products shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary and contain the following information:

(a) Submitter’s name

(b) Affiliation (agency/organization)

(c) Address

(d) Telephone number and/or email address

(e) Document title and version number

(f) Change from (note document section number)

(g) Change to

(h) Basis for change

B.2.2 All proposed amendments received shall be documented and forwarded to the appropriate committee for review and evaluation. An effort will be made to resolve all expressed objections related to the work product under consideration.

B.2.2.1 If the appropriate committee no longer exists, the Chair will appoint a new committee to review and evaluate the proposed amendments.

B.2.3 When approved by a simple majority committee vote, the presiding officer(s) shall present the proposed amendments to the membership for review and evaluation.

B.2.3.1 If working between meetings, to the extent possible, the committee presiding officer(s) shall notify the Chair to request placement on the next scheduled meeting agenda at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

B.2.4 Modification of an “Approved Document” requires a 2/3 majority vote of the Members and shall become a “Revised Document for Comment” and shall follow sections B.1.4 through B.1.8.

B.2.5 The decision of the committee and/or membership, with justification, shall be communicated to the requestor in writing by the Chair or his or her designee within 30 days of the decision.

B.2.5.1 Due process for all comments shall be documented and maintained for a period of 1 year.

B.3 Five Year Review of Approved Products When five years have elapsed from the date of adoption or modification of a product, Members shall consider whether changes are required. During the consideration process, the document shall be referred to by its original title as a “Document for Five-Year Review – Draft for Comment.” The review process shall follow that outlined in B.1 “Adoption of New Products.”

B.4 Appeal process If, after notification of the outcome of a submitted comment(s), the submitter feels that SWGMDI did not give the comment(s) due consideration, the submitter has the right to appeal the decision. This appeal shall provide for impartial handling regarding the action or inaction taken by SWGMDI.

B.4.1 All appeals shall be submitted in writing to the Chair and contain the following information:

(a) Submitter’s name

(b) Affiliation (agency/organization)

(c) Address

(d) Telephone number and/or email address

(e) Document title and version number

(f) Copy of the previously submitted comment(s)

(g) Basis for appeal/concerns

B.4.2 The Executive Board shall review and evaluate all appeals within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. Evaluation shall include input from the committee dealing with the original comments.

B.4.3 When approved by a simple majority vote, the decision of the Board, with justification, shall be communicated in writing to the submitter within 5 days of the decision.

B.4.3.1 If the decision of the Executive Board is to uphold the submitted appeal, the comments shall be resubmitted to the original committee for inclusion in the work product. The work product will be considered a “Revised Document for Comment” and those changes made to the document will be sent out for comment following steps B.1.4 through B.1.8.

B.5 Sun-Setting of Products When a standard, guideline, best practice, or other work product is determined to be obsolete, a sunset date will be established and published to allow those laboratories using the work product to comply.

Last Modified 11/30/12


 

 

 

 

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