According to the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, within another six to seven months, the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) will be operational.
The lab is intended to provide Guyanese with critical scientific results, especially with the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test.
Recently Ramjattan said that since 2012 when the previous administration penned the idea, a lot of the design work was not in place.
This, he said, prompted the present administration to seek the expertise of a Barbadian to better understand whether the facility and equipment meet the standards. He said as a result of the analysis that was submitted by the expert, it was found that more work had to be done on the facility.
The American experts, he said, through the American Ambassador told the Minister that, “We have not, as yet, reached the stage for that quality of DNA testing; we had to wait until we get all the other things fixed.”
A few areas that needed much work were infrastructural, the integrity system and ventilation for the various substances, given that they all require specific temperatures, the Minister said.
The equipment and personnel will be added to the laboratory after completion, Ramjattan noted. This will be followed by accreditation and certification when the building is “100 percent” completed.
The Minister also stressed the fact that it was disappointing that the country was not able to achieve this goal for the year.
Guyana’s billion dollar Forensic Science Laboratory was opened in 2014 but could not function as it should.
As such, investigators have been forced to send DNA samples overseas. One such case was recently documented as samples of the murdered teacher, Kescia Branche, were sent for testing.
Investigators have also sought DNA tests on two separate skeletal remains that were found in a sack at Enmore, East Coast Demerara and in an abandoned school compound in New Amsterdam, Berbice.
The laboratory was opened under the previous administration in Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, but issues were highlighted with the building as the coalition government took over.
In February last, Cabinet approved US $32,524 for the lab to be operationalized.
Kaieteur News was told that Inter-American Development Bank-funded GFSL offered some forensic analysis on samples related to criminal investigations in the areas of toxicology, questioned documents analysis, trace evidence and Chemical analysis and non-forensic laboratory testing, relating to matters not associated with criminal investigations.
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