ISO accreditation soon for Forensic lab

DPI Guyana, Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Citizens of Guyana will soon directly benefit from an ISO accredited, Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL). Through the Citizens Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP), improvements are currently being made to bring the laboratory in line with the required standards.

Receiving accreditation from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) will mean the GFSL has met stipulated quality requirements.

Project Manager of CSSP, Clement Henry, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that Component Two of CSSP is being implemented to deal with some issues affecting the capacity of the police force to respond to crime and violence in the country.

Clement Henry, Project Manager, CSSP

“When we started [this project] there were some problems with the forensic laboratory and when we had discussions with the ministry on the policy level, we were directed to ensure that the forensic laboratory comes on stream so that it could really support crime fighting in this country. Those discussions birthed the decision that two critical pieces of equipment were necessary to achieve this goal; DNA and gunshot residue testing equipment.”

According to Henry, the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) is currently in the advanced stage of procurement of quality DNA equipment to conduct DNA testing locally and securing equipment to test gunshot residue.

“We [are trying to] have everything in place so we can have the labs conducting these tests and bring the lab up to ISO accreditation.”

Henry noted that these pieces of equipment will ensure better quality police investigations and that once secured, a proper electronic security system will be employed to safeguard the apparatus and ensure its longevity and efficiency.

“We’ve already contracted a consultant to do this type of activity and we also need to address the air quality within the laboratory and we’ve already contracted someone to do this.”

The forensic lab is a Government of Guyana initiative with the goal to provide quality laboratory service to support forensic and non-forensic investigations. The GFSL will offer forensic analysis on samples related to criminal investigations in the areas of toxicology, questioned documents analysis, trace evidence and chemical analysis.

By: Nateshia Isaacs

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