In 2004, the NSW Ombudsman released a report into the accuracy and traceability of forensic evidence within NSW Police and the impact it was having on the number and severity of convictions recorded based on that evidence. The manual maintenance of Exhibit Books was a time-consuming and error-prone process that was struggling to keep pace with the number of exhibits being recorded.
We were part of the project team that used Holocentric Modeler to support the gathering of requirements for a new Exhibits and Forensic Information Management System (EFIMS). This lead to the creation of an electronic tender where all requirements were published electronically rather than in the more traditional and bulky paper-based format.
A subsequent audit report by Peter Achterstraat, Auditor-General, in February 2010 states:
“The NSW Police Force Forensic Services Group provides a range of specialist services to police investigators including crime and incident scene examination, expert scientific, technical and criminal psychology advice, interpretation, recording scenes and a broad range of analysis services (including fingerprint, mark recovery, biology, botany, microbiology, ballistics, forensic medicine, documents, handwriting, illicit drugs from clandestine laboratories, explosives, chemical warfare agents and physical evidence). A range of identification services to police, courts and external agencies is also performed. “
While this report focused on the cost-effectiveness of DNA and Fingerprint evidence, the new system had to cater for all forensic disciplines, particularly in relation to the movement of exhibits for testing between different forensic disciplines and the rules associated with them, for example, determining the correct sequence for testing a firearm collected at a crime scene for gunshot residue, fingerprints and ballistics. These rules and requirements were all modelled in Holocentric Modeler as part of the tender preparation process. The process models also included links to specifications for potential UI designs, and web service integration with the NSW Police system COPS.
Extensive business analysis was undertaken, through a series of stakeholder workshops, facilitated and supported by serving NSW Police personnel to ensure that information gathered and modelled remained in context.
We lead the tender evaluation team and ultimately awarded the contract to an Australian company.