DNA testing at Forensic Laboratory

DNA testing at Forensic Laboratory to be a reality soon.

Speaking recently with media operatives, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan revealed that the procurement process to acquire equipment for Forensic Laboratory to do DNA testing has been approved. The Minister disclosed the equipment costs fall within the vicinity of US$1M and was provided for by Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) of the Ministry of Public Security.

Minister Ramjattan also disclosed that over the next six to seven months, the laboratory, located at Turkeyen, will have its security upgraded to safeguard the integrity of the exhibits, ventilation works completed and the certified training of staff who will be conducting various forensic tests.

Minister Ramjattan explained, “The Americans experts, through their ambassador indicated that we haven’t as yet reached the stage for that quality of DNA testing. And we had to wait until we get all the other things fixed, the infrastructural work, the integrity system and the ventilation system because these exhibits have to be maintained at a certain temperature and also the design of that original lab wasn’t there yet.”

The Public Security Minister said it is disappointing that this was not yet achieved. He, however, emphasised that the “accreditation and the certification, will come when we get it one hundred percent fixed.”

Minister Ramjattan opined that much of the laboratory’s ‘design work’ was incorrectly done previously. This resulted in the government being forced to recall the Barbadian expert, to conduct an assessment of the facility as it currently stood. Subsequent to her findings, he added, reconstructive works began.

The Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) is a government initiative with the long-term goal of providing quality laboratory service to support forensic and non-forensic investigations. The GFSL offers forensic analysis on samples related to criminal investigations in the areas of toxicology, questioned documents analysis, trace evidence and chemical analysis and non-forensic laboratory testing relating to matters not associated with criminal investigations.