FBI Laboratory: Chemistry and Trace Evidence Units Generally Adhere to Quality Standards, but Could Review More Examiner Testimonies, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The FBI Laboratory, within the Department of Justice (DOJ), is responsible for analysis of forensic evidence for the FBI, other parts of DOJ, and domestic law enforcement agencies, among others. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine how the FBI Laboratory ensures the reliability of its forensic examinations, in particular within its Chemistry and Trace Evidence Units. For these two units, this report addresses (1) how the FBI Laboratory works to ensure quality in conducting forensic examinations, and (2) the extent to which it has taken steps to ensure adherence to the FBI Laboratory's quality standards. GAO reviewed policies and procedures of the FBI Laboratory and its Chemistry and Trace Evidence Units; audit and accreditation reports from 2008, when the Laboratory was accredited to international standards, through 2015, the most recent available; the training records of all 47 staff who conducted casework in these two units from fiscal year 2011 to July 2016, the most recent available; and evaluation records for examiner testimonies and related laboratory reports in these two units from fiscal years 2011 to 2015, the 5 fiscal years prior to this review. GAO also independently sought to obtain testimony transcripts the FBI was unable to obtain for this period. [...] GAO recommends that the FBI Laboratory's transcript acquisition procedure routinely capture and use additional information critical to transcript acquisition. The FBI concurred with our recommendation and described planned actions for implementation."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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