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Costa Rica: ICITAP-Supported Department of Forensic Science Reaches Critical Milestone

On August 3, the Costa Rican Department of Forensic Science became the second international laboratory to be awarded a certificate from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a recognized implementer of forensic standards issued the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).  Costa Rica is the first international laboratory to declare the implementation of the toxicology standards as well as those for firearms and toolmarks.  In addition, Costa Rica became the first international laboratory to self-declare conformance to the new forensic standard issued by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the recognition, recording, collecting, transport and storage of items (ISO 17043-2:2018).  This advancement was facilitated by ICITAP’s support for Costa Rica’s international accreditation and participation in the broader international forensic community.  OSAC was created in following the National Academy of Science’s 2009 report titled “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward.”  OSAC supports the forensic community by facilitating the development and promoting the use of high-quality, technically sound standards. These standards define minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols and other guidance to help ensure that the results of forensic analysis are reliable and reproducible. OSAC’s 550-plus members work in forensic laboratories and other institutions around the country and have expertise in 22 forensic disciplines, as well as scientific research, measurement science, statistics, law and policy. In Costa Rica, ICITAP works with the support of and in coordination with the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

Updated August 11, 2023