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Costa Rica: ICITAP-Supported Department of Forensic Sciences Implements NIST Standard for Forensic DNA Interpretation and Comparison Protocols

On February 23, ICITAP’s Global Forensic Science Unit provided an update on its partnership with and assistance to Costa Rica’s Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) within the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ).  The OIJ DFS has recently implemented and declared compliance with the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Standard 40 for forensic DNA interpretation and comparison by the United States’ National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Since 2021, the laboratory has worked to implement the OSAC standards in toxicology and ballistics and was the first international implementer to do so. This latest addition marks the third discipline in which they have implemented the standards included in the OSAC Registry; these standards are based on minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols, terminology, or other information to promote valid, reliable, and reproducible forensic results. The adoption of the standards of the OSAC Registry by a forensic laboratory represents the continuation of the commitment to improve the implementation of high-quality standards, by incorporating specific scientific requirements that guarantee the application of best practices in the daily work carried out in tests or inspections. The OIJ DFS first became accredited with the support of ICITAP in 2018 and now serves as a regional role model for Central America, consistently demonstrating their dedication to improving their service as a forensic provider. ICITAP works in Central America in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

Updated March 4, 2024