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pbeardmore
(@pbeardmore)
Active Member

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/science-technology/forensic-science/Govt-response-forensic-science.pdf

One of my highlights

"With respect to the costs for smaller providers, their Lordships will understand that our top priority is to prevent miscarriages of justice. Providers that have invested in accreditation recognise it as an investment in basic quality management and it is important that providers play on a level playing field. This means removing the opportunity for providers to be undercut by those who have not demonstrated this competency to UKAS."

Quote
Posted : 09/07/2019 1:13 pm
watcher
(@watcher)
Active Member

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/science-technology/forensic-science/Govt-response-forensic-science.pdf

One of my highlights

"With respect to the costs for smaller providers, their Lordships will understand that our top priority is to prevent miscarriages of justice. Providers that have invested in accreditation recognise it as an investment in basic quality management and it is important that providers play on a level playing field. This means removing the opportunity for providers to be undercut by those who have not demonstrated this competency to UKAS."

Caveat I'm not in the U.K. and I'm retired.

That was an interesting and twisted read exhibiting classic government speak.

"… The Board should be chaired by a retired senior judge …"

Because judges are known for their technical expertise?

"… We recognise that there is a strong relationship between price and quality …"

So no free open source, and a vested interest for vendors to raise prices to create quality?

"… While we are not recommending an accreditation process for individual practitioners of
forensic science, an independent tribunal mechanism should be established …
"

".. a Government bill giving the
Forensic Science Regulator the following properly funded statutory powers
• The power to issue improvement notices and fines
• The power to prevent individuals from providing expert testimony to courts with a
corresponding appeals process
• The power to investigate a forensic science provider and take enforcement action.
• The power to rescind a forensic science provider’s accreditation.
• The power to inspect, without notice, accredited forensic science providers. …
"

So no accreditation for individual practitioners but enforcement based upon non-existent accreditation?

I'm sure this will do wonders for the future of forensics! roll

ReplyQuote
Posted : 09/07/2019 4:54 pm
Rich2005
(@rich2005)
Senior Member

The race to the bottom continues.

I really wish they'd realise that being UKAS accredited doesn't demonstrate competence in any meaningful way.

It does however waste a huge amount of time and money that could be better spent.

Basically, you ask a few of the bigger providers, who've invested in UKAS/ISO accreditation (in order to win business or because it was forced upon them), whether it's a good idea, and they will obviously say yes, both to justify what they've done, and to win them work now and in the future.

Then you ask a few academics whether, in theory, testing everything is worthwhile, and of course they'll say yes in principle (because it is in principle). The practical/reality of the merit however……

This is aside from the madness of the tool testing idea……where instead of doing it centrally…..you get every single individual provider/practitioner to do it, for every version of every piece of software, on some sort of limited data set, to find some hypothetical bug. On what planet does that make sense!? It's exponential duplication of work and therefore wasting of money.

I'm sure those ISO accredited labs are churning out reports from software with bugs in, that have passed their validation, as we speak. I've certainly reported quite a number of bugs waiting to be fixed in some of the major tools.

It really gets on my nerves how badly thought through it all is.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 09/07/2019 5:21 pm
pbeardmore
(@pbeardmore)
Active Member

It's basically a long advert for taking early retirement. It's really poorly thought out IMHO. The points already made on this short thread are valid.

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Posted : 10/07/2019 10:01 am
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

If I get it right (from the outside) the sense of the whole stuff is
The bureaucratic solution involving bureaucrats we ourselves put in charge of the matter remains the best possible solution bureaucratically speaking, so we are going to extend the power of these bureaucrats and - since the "quality" regulations surprisingly have an effects on costs - we find it needed to apply some brand new market price regulations, to alleviate the financial sufferings of the big players in the field.
Too bad for the "small and niche" ones, they should have grown earlier or have borrowed money to become compliant , however, to make their life even more miserable. we are going to put some further obstacles to prevent them from working peacefully. In due time, we will consider the possibility that some other bureaucrats may explore the funding of this compliance requirements through grants, something that hopefully will happen just before these people will have closed their activities.

jaclaz

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Posted : 10/07/2019 1:05 pm
pbeardmore
(@pbeardmore)
Active Member

That about sums it up

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Posted : 10/07/2019 3:48 pm
steve862
(@steve862)
Active Member

Hi,

As someone who works in digital forensics but has also worked in traditional scientific test and calibration laboratories, I have a fairly unique perspective in understanding both environments well.

When I read the ISO17025 documentation I understand it because I understand the equipment, the physical environments, the storage considerations, the processes, the repeatability requirement and so on.

It should of course be noted that ISO17025 was not created for 'traditional' forensics but is now being ported over to digital forensics. But even if a standard were created for traditional forensis, it is still too different a field to try to apply it to digital forensics.

You could say that the previous FSR, whose decision it was to choose this standard, chose a standard intended for an industry in which he had never worked and sought to apply it to another industry in which he had never worked.

In terms of this report, I have never worked in a traditional forensic field so I can't say what the current issues are. Everything in this report might be entirely on the money when it comes to traditional forensics. Having more than 15 years experience in digital forensics, I can say it definitely is not!

The issue of cost has had very little serious discussion. Not so long ago a major provider of forensic services needed a bailout and I know of many smaller forensic providers who simply cannot afford to achieve accreditation. The FSR's Codes of Conduct needs to include a section on financial viability in order for accredition to be granted and government contracts to be awarded. There is a risk that accreditation becomes the thing that kills forensic science in the private sector.

I am concerned about the field of work I love. I'm sure there are people pushing for these changes because they beleive they are the right thing to do. It's a case of not asking the right people, not seeing things at the ground level and not understanding the technology.

I've said a lot on this subject before. I won't say it all again.

Steve

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Posted : 12/07/2019 2:05 pm
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Community Legend

I really wish they'd realise that being UKAS accredited doesn't demonstrate competence in any meaningful way.

And according to the Parliamentary document an organisation can have two chances to demonstrate being incompetent because organisations have two masters, not one! Oh no, that would be wrong and to be politically correct, one mistress and one master..

12. Having carefully considered responses from the public consultation, we consider granting the Regulator the power to issue compliance notices and prevent noncompliant providers from providing evidence to court to be sufficient. Further, the Regulator cannot be granted the power to rescind a provider’s accreditation as UKAS, rather than the Regulator, is the awarding body.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/07/2019 9:08 am
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