FSS Diagnostic Review of the SA FSL held in Pretoria

In February 2008, the DNA Project, through the generous sponsorship of the Change a Life Mike Thomson Trust, sponsored the Forensic Science Services (“The FSS”) visit to SA to conduct a Diagnostic Review of the Forensic Science Lab in Pretoria. The purpose of the visit was to enable the FSS to better understand the current situation in SA and the vision of the future of forensic DNA in SA. Issues such as scene of crime requirements, legislative impact, technical processes, procedures and techniques currently used within the FSL, were explored. Currently, DNA analysis to support the South African Police Service (SAPS) is provided by 2 laboratories, Pretoria and Western Cape. The Pretoria unit is the largest and houses the National DNA Data-
base. The FSS were requested to undertake a review of the Pretoria Forensic Science Lab (FSL), Biology Unit (BU) to establish if anything could be done to improve the e?ciency and hence capacity of the DNA analytical process;  reduce the existing backlog; improve the contribution of the unit to the detection and conviction of o?enders and make recommendations for future development and expansion of the DNA Database.
The outcome of the Diagnostic Review by the FSS was a comprehensive ?ndings report with recommendations to support the enhancement of DNA processing in SA including a number of proposed solutions from the FSS to meet those recommendations. This report was submitted to the FSL following a presentation of the above ?ndings to the FSL in Pretoria, in July 2008.

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