When it was set up in 1995, the National DNA Database (NDNAD) was run by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). This responsibility was then transferred to the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and later to the Home Office. Both the FSS and the NPIA have now been closed down. The NDNAD is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.

The standard-setting and oversight of the Database is governed by the National DNA Database Strategy Board.

DNA samples collected by the police are now analysed by commercial companies, which are also paid to store the samples, and by some police forces in their own labs. You can read about some concerns about this practice here. The following organisations can provide DNA profiles from DNA samples taken from individuals or from crime scenes for the NDNAD*.

  • Forensic Science Service,
  • LGC Limited
  • Orchid Cellmark
  • Tayside Police Forensic Science Laboratory
  • Forensic Science Northern Ireland (individual samples only)
  • Strathclyde Police Forensic Science Laboratory (crime scene samples only)
  • Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory (crime scene samples only)

*Written answer to Parliamentary question by Joan Ryan 9th May 2006

Annual Reports and the National DNA Database Strategy Board

The Home Office oversees delivery of the National DNA Database.

The National DNA Database Strategy Board provides governance and oversight of the operation of the NDNAD.

The Home Office published the 2011-2012 Annual Report on the National DNA Database and the 2009-2011 report in 2013.

The National DNA Database Ethics Group

The National DNA Database Ethics Group was set up in response to criticism of the lack of ethical oversight of the Database. It published its first annual report in 2008; its second annual report in 2009; its third annual report in 2010; its fourth report in 2011; and its fifth report in 2012.

The Forensic Science Regulator

The Forensic Science Regulator was set up following the 2005 recommendations of the Science and Technology Committee.

The European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI)

ENFSI's DNA working group publishes reports and recommendations on DNA databases across Europe, including plans to share DNA matches routinely within the EU.

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