The Office of Forensic Services:
- Administers the state’s DNA Databank in cooperation with the New York State Police Crime Laboratory;
- Provides staff support to the state Commission on Forensic Science and its DNA Subcommittee;
- Monitors public forensic laboratory compliance with state accreditation standards;
- Facilitates technical training and other activities that enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of forensic testing services in the state;
- Promotes coordination and information sharing among the public laboratories; and
- Works with public forensic laboratories, law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies to improve the quality and delivery of forensic services.
State Executive Law (Article 49-B, Section 995 – 995F) and State Regulations (Title 9, Subtitle U, Chapter VIII) pertain to the Office of Forensic Services, DNA Databank and public forensic laboratory accreditation.
NYS Commission on Forensic Science and DNA Subcommittee
The Commission on Forensic Science and the DNA Subcommittee were established by Article 49-B of the Executive Law. The Commission is empowered to, among other things, develop minimum standards and a program of accreditation for all forensic laboratories in New York State. Accreditation of a forensic DNA laboratory is granted through the DNA Subcommittee. The Subcommittee also advises the Commission on any matter related to the implementation of scientific controls and quality assurance procedures for the performance of forensic DNA analysis. OFS conducts its activities in coordination with the New York Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee (NYCLAC) and various technical working groups (TWGs) of forensic experts from State and local crime laboratories.
The Commission and Subcommittee meet quarterly. These meetings are broadcast live and recordings of past meetings are available on YouTube:
Technical Support to NYS Commission on Forensic Science
With general guidance from the NYS Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee (NYCLAC), technical working groups (TWGs) have been established for each forensic discipline and for quality control managers to promote uniform analytical protocols and quality assurance procedures, to identify technical training needs, and to provide technical consultation services to the Commission on Forensic Sciences in the evaluation of laboratories' performance on proficiency tests and conformance with accreditation standards.
Forensic Laboratory Compliance with New York State Accreditation Standards
OFS monitors forensic laboratories' compliance with accreditation standards established by the Commission on Forensic Science. This involves review of all documentation between the laboratories and the ANAB ‒ ANSI (American National Standards Institute) National Accreditation Board, the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in connection with DNA laboratory accreditation and participation in the NYS DNA Databank.
Technical Training for Crime Laboratory Personnel
OFS facilitates highly specialized technical training programs for crime laboratory personnel in order to maintain proficiency and currency in analytical methods.