In order to enhance the efficiency of the nation’s DNA database, also known as the National DNA Index System (NDIS), the FBI has established an ongoing dialogue with various groups to gain a broader perspective and better understand the needs of the entire law enforcement community. Those groups include the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM), CODIS State Administrators, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and various federal, state, local, and tribal agencies. The FBI is committed to seeking common ground in the interest of protecting the public, reducing backlogs, ensuring privacy, and maintaining the integrity of the National DNA database.
Many public law enforcement agencies collaborate with private laboratories for analysis of their DNA samples. The FBI Laboratory is currently re-evaluating existing policies, standards, and protocols, including requirements for outsourcing DNA analysis to private laboratories and review of their results by public law enforcement laboratories. Private laboratories continue to be an integral part of the process and share in the success of NDIS. The current policy assessment will focus on these contributions and will engage both public and private laboratories.
The administration and operation of the National DNA database is an inherently governmental function that supports criminal investigations conducted by our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners. Therefore, the FBI’s assessment does not include re-evaluating access to NDIS. Necessary improvements can be gained by enhancing the efficiency of NDIS procedures.
DNA analysis and, by extension, DNA databases, have proven to be invaluable to the law enforcement community and to victims of violent crimes and their families. Since more violent crimes are solved as more records are placed into the database, enhancing the operational procedures for optimal efficiency of NDIS is imperative.