10.51.07.02

.02 Sanctions — Departmental Actions.

A. Deficiency Posing Immediate Jeopardy.

(1) If a forensic laboratory’s deficiency poses immediate jeopardy to public safety or individual rights, the Secretary shall take one or more of the actions listed in §A(2) and (3) of this regulation.

(2) Initial Actions. When a deficiency involving immediate jeopardy is first identified, the Secretary shall:

(a) Require the forensic laboratory to take immediate action to remove the jeopardy; and

(b) Impose:

(i) A principal sanction after giving the forensic laboratory at least 24 hours’ notice; or

(ii) One or more alternative sanctions.

(3) Follow-up Actions. If the Department finds, in a follow-up audit of a forensic laboratory under an alternative sanction, that the forensic laboratory has not eliminated the immediate jeopardy, the Secretary shall impose a principal sanction after giving the forensic laboratory at least 24 hours’ notice.

B. Deficiency Not Posing Immediate Jeopardy.

(1) If a forensic laboratory’s deficiency does not pose immediate jeopardy to personal or public safety, the Secretary may take one or more of the actions listed in §B(2)—(4) of this regulation.

(2) Initial Actions. When a deficiency is first identified, the Secretary may impose one or more alternative sanctions or a principal sanction.

(3) Unsuccessful Proficiency Testing Participation. If a forensic laboratory exhibits unsuccessful proficiency testing, as set forth in this subtitle, the Secretary may impose the training and technical assistance requirements set forth in Regulation .04 of this chapter as a directed plan of correction, as well as any other sanction.

(4) Follow-up Actions. If the Department finds in a follow-up audit, that a forensic laboratory has not initiated a corrective action for a deficiency within 30 days after the deficiency was identified, the Secretary may:

(a) Impose, or continue if already imposed, one or more sanctions;

(b) Conduct one or more on-site audits to evaluate progress in the correction of a deficiency; and

(c) Conduct an additional follow-up on-site audit to determine whether all corrections have been made.

C. Duration of a Sanction. A sanction shall remain in force until:

(1) A forensic laboratory corrects the deficiency; or

(2) A forensic laboratory’s license is revoked.

D. Withdrawal of a Sanction.

(1) General. The Secretary may not withdraw a sanction until the Secretary verifies regulatory compliance with this subtitle.

(2) Credible Allegation of Compliance. When a sanctioned forensic laboratory submits a credible allegation of compliance, the Secretary may determine compliance through one or more of the following ways:

(a) On the basis of the evidence submitted by the forensic laboratory in the allegation; or

(b) A follow-up audit to verify whether the forensic laboratory has achieved compliance.

(3) If a forensic laboratory does not correct all deficiencies within 30 days after imposition of a sanction, the Secretary may initiate action to suspend or revoke the license.