The Ministry of Public Security, through the Citizen Security Strengthening Project, (CSSP) is taking steps to have the Forensic Laboratory attain the International Standards Organisation (ISO) accreditation.
Citizen Security Strengthening Project’s Manager- Clement Henry
This was disclosed by Project Manager for CSSP, Clement Henry, during an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA). Henry said that they were advised by a forensic expert that the laboratory needs an infrastructural upgrade before it can have the ISO accreditation.
This comes on the heels of the CSSP procuring equipment for the laboratory. However, Henry said that the issues that were raised by the expert need to be addressed. Some of those issues include improving the quality of air in the laboratory, and the electrical wiring system.
Henry explained that, “we are moving to take the lab towards ISO accreditation, and the infrastructural works are important… so we believe that getting that right first before we bring the equipment on board is really the wise way to go.”
While the procurement process has begun, Henry pointed out that the CSSP is working to ensure that everything is in place before the equipment is purchased. An upgraded security system, Henry noted is needed before the ISO accreditation can be awarded.
“One other infrastructural activity that must be a part in moving towards ISO accreditation is the security system, and actually working on that document for the procurement to ensure that we strengthen the security system at the lab,” Henry stated.
Additionally, there will be capacity building for staff members of the forensic laboratory. This will be achieved with the help of the forensic expert, Henry explained.
Henry stated that, “he has been contracted by the PEU’s Project Executing Unit to assess not only the infrastructure in the laboratory, but also the gaps in terms of the laboratory protocols, and in terms of the quality of our staff and to suggest to us the areas of training.”
According to Henry, advertisements have been published both overseas and locally, to afford laboratory staff the necessary training. These include forensic training for the laboratory staff, and investigative training for the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Advertisements have also been made to acquire a firm that can conduct proficiency testing.
“The purpose of the proficiency testing is to ensure that the laboratory testing methods are up to acceptable standards so that society at large can feel that the tests done at the laboratory are credible, Henry explained.