Quality manager at Queensland forensic labs not consulted over change in DNA testing protocols, inquiry hears
, 2022-10-04 00:37:38,
A woman overseeing quality management at Queensland’s forensic laboratories was never asked for her advice over a controversial change in DNA testing protocols that may have prevented crimes from being solved, an inquiry has been told.
- Queensland Health quality manager Helen Gregg says she only became aware of the change this year
- Acting director-general Shaun Drummond says he never would have agreed to the protocol changes
- He says it would have cost the department less than $1 million a year to ensure samples were all processed
Helen Gregg, the quality manager at Queensland Health’s Forensic and Scientific Services since 2006, said she only became aware of the change this year – more than four years after it was implemented in early 2018.
Ms Gregg told the inquiry into forensic DNA testing she was not asked for her input on the protocol change and so “didn’t provide it”.
The inquiry before Walter Sofronoff KC has been probing a decision not to process crime scene samples that contained extremely small amounts of DNA.
An interim report by Mr Sofronoff found that between early 2018 and June this year, laboratory scientists gave “untrue” or “misleading” witness statements about the detection of DNA in some samples.
Mr Sofronoff found that under an agreement between Queensland Health and the Queensland Police Service, crime scene samples that did not contain quantities of DNA above a certain threshold were not processed further and were reported in witness statements…
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