Report No. 01-26
September 17, 2001
Office of the Inspector General
OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY
The objectives of our audit were to determine the extent of state and local laboratory participation in CODIS, particularly for those entities receiving laboratory grants and to evaluate the FBI's implementation and monitoring of CODIS.
We conducted our audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and included such tests as were considered necessary to accomplish the audit objectives. Our audit generally covered the period October 1998 through January 2001. To accomplish the objectives of the audit, we:
- interviewed FBI and NIJ officials responsible for maintaining and overseeing CODIS and the LIP, in order to review compliance with requirements and management controls governing their systems and processes;
- determined the nature of the collaboration between the FBI and the NIJ on the LIP;
- collected data from the FBI's software contractor and the FBI regarding the contractual agreement between them for CODIS development and user support, including performance measurements and payments; and
- gathered information from the FBI regarding the current levels of CODIS participation, which included the number of: (1) profiles in the national index, (2) laboratories that have completed the application process for the national index, (3) CODIS laboratories, and (4) investigations aided by CODIS.
In addition, we conducted audits at eight CODIS-participating laboratories to determine if they were in compliance with the QAS and NDIS requirements. A description of the laboratory selection process, along with a listing of the eight laboratories we audited, is discussed on the following page. At these laboratories we:
- interviewed laboratory officials responsible for maintaining CODIS, assuring compliance with quality assurance standards, and maintaining records on DNA employees, such as qualifications, training, and proficiency testing;
- toured the laboratory facilities to physically verify each laboratory's adherence to its own policies on security and evidence control, as well as to observe compliance with various QAS issues;
- reviewed laboratory DNA and CODIS-related protocols and operating manuals including, but not limited to, guidelines on writing reports, interpretation of data, frequency of equipment calibration and maintenance, laboratory security, evidence handling, proficiency testing requirements, and corrective action;
- reviewed the case files for selected forensic DNA profiles to determine if the profiles uploaded to CODIS were complete, accurate, and in compliance with the seven applicable QAS and NDIS requirements; and
- reviewed supporting documentation for selected convicted offender DNA profiles to determine if the profiles were complete, accurate, and included in the database in accordance with state legislation and the one applicable NDIS requirement.
We were unable to obtain the convicted offender profile information directly from the national index because of the large number of profiles involved and because internal controls at the national index prohibit the dissemination of information in an electronic format. Therefore, the laboratories provided us with the convicted offender profile information in an electronic format from their state indexes. The FBI stated that the state index electronic files were an accurate reflection of the laboratories' offender profiles contained in the national index.
We primarily relied on documentation that accompanied the offenders' blood samples submitted by the state corrections agencies for determining whether the offenders' conviction offenses permitted their DNA profiles to be in the database. In a few instances where sufficient information was not available in the documentation that accompanied the blood sample, laboratory staff searched criminal history records to obtain the conviction offense information. We compared the legal citation for the offender's crime as reported on the submitted information and criminal history record information with the legal citations for the qualifying offenses as listed in the state legislation.
We audited the eight laboratories listed on the following page and issued a separate report to the FBI for each laboratory. The FBI provided oversight while the laboratories took corrective action to resolve our audit findings. Of the eight laboratories audited, the FBI asked that we audit the three laboratories located in Florida. We selected the remaining five laboratories based on the large number of DNA profiles the laboratories had uploaded to NDIS while giving consideration to the selection of a geographic distribution of laboratories throughout the country.
- Broward County Sheriff's Office Crime Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Audit Report No. GR-80-00-009, issued April 2000
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tallahassee Regional Crime Laboratory Audit Report No. GR-80-00-011, issued May 2000
- Miami-Dade Police Department Crime Laboratory Bureau, Miami, Florida Audit Report No. GR-80-00-013, issued June 2000
- North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory, Raleigh, North Carolina, Audit Report No. GR-40-00-013, issued June 2000
- California Department of Justice Berkeley DNA Laboratory Audit Report No. GR-90-00-019, issued June 2000
- Illinois State Police Springfield DNA Laboratory Audit Report No. GR-50-00-025, issued August 2000
- Pennsylvania State Police Greensburg DNA Laboratory Audit Report No. GR-70-00-017, issued September 2000
- Virginia Division of Forensic Science Central Laboratory, Richmond, Virginia
Audit Report No. GR-30-00-005, issued September 2000