Compliance With Standards Governing Convicted Offender DNA Sample Backlog Reduction Program Activities The Bode Technology Group, Inc. Springfield, Virginia
Report No. GR-80-01-018
September 6, 2001
Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, is conducting an audit of the Convicted Offender DNA Sample Backlog Reduction Program (Program), administered by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). In conjunction with that effort, we have completed an audit of The Bode Technology Group, Inc. (Bode), a private laboratory providing contracted DNA analysis services for Program grantees, for compliance with standards that govern those services.
Scope and Methodology
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 of Bode generally covered the 2-year period preceding our fieldwork conducted in August 2001. See Appendix I for a detailed description of our audit scope and methodology.
The overall objective of the audit was to assess Bode's compliance with standards governing their DNA analysis contracts with Program grantees, namely the Quality Assurance Standards for Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories (Offender QAS), effective April 1, 1999. See Appendix II for further details concerning our audit criteria.
Findings and Recommendations
We considered 130 elements 1 of the Offender QAS. We found that Bode complied with the Offender QAS except for one area of noncompliance described on the following page.
Continuing Education Documentation
Offender Standard 126.96.36.199 states that the technical manager, CODIS manager, and analysts must stay abreast of developments within the field of DNA typing by reading current scientific literature and by attending seminars, courses, professional meetings or documented training sessions or classes in relevant subject areas at least once a year. This requirement is listed as a substandard of Offender Standard 5.1.3 requiring a continuing education program. In reviewing Bode's policies and procedures, we noted that Bode had a continuing education program that mirrored the requirements of Offender Standard 188.8.131.52. In addition, Bode had a system of documentation that accounted for the attendance of appropriate personnel at seminars, courses, and meetings. However, the laboratory did not have a mechanism in place to document that appropriate personnel (the technical manager and analysts) had completed the required reading of scientific literature.
Laboratory management was able to produce a routing slip that was attached to an article from a recent scientific journal, on which the technical manager had signed off, indicating that he was reading as required in 2001. However, reading completed in previous years, and any reading completed by analysts, was not documented. Laboratory management stated that all appropriate personnel are actively engaged in reading scientific literature that is routed through the laboratory and that the laboratory subscribes to a variety of journals that would make such reading material immediately available to the staff. However, they acknowledged that there was no documentation to substantiate that the reading is being done.
We recommend that the Director of the National Institute of Justice, through the Program grantees contracting with Bode, ensure that:
Views of Responsible Officials
During the audit and at the exit conference, we solicited comments on our audit finding and recommendation from Bode management. These comments have been incorporated in the details of the preceding finding.