Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $360,825)
The City operates both the Citys forensic DNA laboratory (APD) and the legislatively designated DNA database laboratory for New Mexico (NMDIS). These two laboratories are independent but jointly administered. APD and NMDIS funding sources do not budget for: laboratory overtime; temporary employee support; the outsourcing of backlogged cases; federally required training or travel related to on-site vendor visits or quality assurance audits; upgrading, acquisition or validation of necessary laboratory equipment; sample tracking peripherals or software; or database collection kits. Significant increases in the demand for analysis of new and backlogged cases (predominantly sexual assault kits), insufficient staffing, inconsistent funding streams and federal requirements to use substantially more expensive multiplex kits that then result in the need for upgraded or again, new equipment, validations and training place additional financial burdens on an already stressed system.
The goal of this project is to utilize authorized grant funds to fill in the gaps, where possible, related to both, the APDs and the NMDISs respective (as appropriate) staffing, outsourcing, consulting and contracting, training and travel, and equipment and supply needs.
The objectives of this project are that through cost effective contracting and procurement the laboratories will secure:(1) Required travel, training, quality assurance audits and vendor site visits will continue to be performed in order to comply with: (a) federal rules; and (b) our attempts to ensure the highest level of quality in all analyses performed, whether they are in-house or vendor analyzed; (2) Necessary upgrading, acquisition or validation of any necessary equipment or software can continue to be performed as required to ensure continued compliance with requirements for increases in both the volume and complexity of analyses, sample tracking, grant reporting, state and federal hit counting and reporting, etc.; and, (3) Provide for contracts to ensure that required processes and materials are in place for the cost effective collection of samples and outsourced analysis of selected backlogged cases.
The intent of each of these objectives is to assure that both the APDs and NMDISs labs are able to increase their respective capacities for analysis, reduce any applicable backlogs, and reduce their turnaround times. An additional intent for the NMDIS is to further reduce the turnaround time regarding match confirmations.