The Champion

March 2006 , Page 46 

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State Legislative Affairs Update

By Scott Ehlers

Crime Lab Oversight And Reform

US: Inspector General Slams NIJ For Lack Of Oversight On Forensics Grants

In 2004, Congress passed the Justice for All Act, in part to improve the nation’s crime labs. The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program provides funds (almost $15 million in FY2005) to state and local governments to improve the quality of forensic science and medical examiner services. The Justice for All Act required that grant applicants submit “a certification that a government entity exists and an appropriate process is in place to conduct independent external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct….” Now it looks like the National Institute of Justice, which oversees the Coverdell Grant Program, essentially ignored the law.

In December 2005, the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published a report which concluded that the National Institute of Justice “did not enforce the external investigation certific

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