DNA testing in Guyana from next year
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan has announced that the Citizens Security Programme has agreed to fund the US$1M DNA equipment, which will be procured and installed within seven months at the Guyana’s Forensic Laboratory in Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown.
“Since 2012, a lot of design work for the DNA lab wasn’t put in proper place and that is why we had to recall the Barbadian export…had to do some re-construction works then the American export said the lab did not reach the requisite standard to do DNA testing,” Minister Ramjattan told a gathering on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at the commissioning of a Prison Vessel.
He noted that in the meantime, works are ongoing to maintain the integrity of exhibits which will be kept at the lab while training is ongoing for those who will be qualified to conduct the analysis.
“It has been a little disappointing that we haven’t gotten it has yet [equipment etc] but we have to get it right first and then we have to get the accreditation and certification. All of that will only come when we get it 100% fixed not 99.9%,” the Security Minister said.
Without the lab, Guyana has to send its DNA samples to Brazil, Trinidad or the United Kingdom for testing.
In April 2011, the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government signed a contract valued $450M with Courtney Benn Contracting Services for the construction of the lab. The project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, in partnership with the Guyana Government, and is expected to greatly enhance the investigative capabilities of the Guyana Police Force.