Return to the USDOJ/OIG Home Page

Compliance with Standards Governing Combined DNA Index System Activities
Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division
Portland, Oregon

December, 2001
Office of the Inspector General


The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of compliance with standards governing Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) activities at the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division (Laboratory). CODIS is a national computerized information repository maintained by the FBI that permits the storing, maintaining, tracking, and searching of DNA specimen information in order to facilitate the exchange of DNA information by law enforcement agencies. Laboratories that participate in CODIS perform DNA analysis on specimens from convicted offenders or crime-scene evidence. These laboratories use special software, provided free of charge by the FBI, to organize and manage the DNA profiles and related information. The software also compares DNA profiles from participating laboratories and notifies the appropriate laboratories when two or more DNA profiles match.

The DNA Identification Act of 1994 authorized CODIS and specified several standards for laboratories that contribute profiles to the FBI National DNA Index System (NDIS). Each participating laboratory must certify that it is performing DNA analysis in compliance with the FBI standards governing laboratory operations. Further, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was enacted between the FBI and state laboratories establishing the responsibilities of each party as part of CODIS. The MOU establishes general and specific standards that are to be followed by a laboratory in order to participate in CODIS and utilize NDIS, including the upload of DNA profiles to NDIS.

Our audit generally covered the period from August 1999 through August 2001. The overall objective of the audit was to determine the extent of the Laboratory's compliance with standards governing Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) activities. To address the overall objective, we considered:

We found that the Laboratory generally complied with standards governing CODIS activities that we tested. However, our review of 200 DNA profiles from the CODIS databases disclosed that: (1) one casework profile was not fully supported by the analyst's notes, (2) two casework profiles' loci readings were derived from evidence obtained from specimens not listed on the CODIS record, (3) eighteen casework profiles did not contain readings from all the loci tested and successfully analyzed by the lab and, (4) one convicted offender profile did not contain readings from all the loci tested and successfully analyzed by the lab.

The audit results are discussed in greater detail in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. Appendix I discusses our audit scope and methodology. Appendix II provides the audit criteria. Appendix III contains general background information. Appendix IV covers the history and status of DNA testing and CODIS use at the Laboratory.