CrimTrac tenders for DNA ICT platform

Platform will allow police to do advanced DNA searching across state and territory borders

Federal government agency CrimTrac has released a request for expressions of interest (REOI) for the implementation of a national ICT platform that includes DNA matching and searching functions.

The platform will allow police agencies to undertake DNA kinship matching and familial searching across state and territory borders. This would be used in criminal investigations, disaster victim identification and missing person’s cases.

Kinship matching examines DNA profiles to establish biological relationships between individuals such as family members. Familial searching involves the search of a national DNA database to identify close relatives of an offender when the criminal’s DNA profile is not present.

CrimTrac CEO Doug Smith said that DNA kinship matching and familial searching would enable police to solve more crimes.

“CrimTrac’s current DNA matching capability provides significant value to operational police but as technology advances it is important that CrimTrac keeps up with the changes to ensure we continue providing quality services to police, within the current legislative framework,” he said in a statement.

The agency’s National Criminal Investigation DNA Database allows police to link DNA profiles from a crime scene with a convicted offender or to match DNA profiles from two or more unsolved crime scenes.

“These links are valuable to help investigators identify suspects, identify deceased or missing persons and link crime,” Smith said.

He added that any enhancements to the DNA system will be consistent with privacy requirements.

DNA technology has been used by Australian police to assist in identifying victims of the Bali bombings, the Asian Boxing Day tsunami and the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires.

The REOI closes on 3 November 2013.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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