57. Deputy John Curran asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of samples from persons that are on the national DNA database since its establishment to date; if a review of its performance has or is being undertaken in view of the fact that this database has been established since November 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12443/17]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) is responsible for the operation of the national DNA Database System. The database constitutes a major intelligence resource for the investigation of crime. The database is being populated with samples taken from persons suspected/convicted of serious crime and from crime scenes. I have been informed by FSI that to date the number of person samples added since the establishment of the database is 10,988.
The Deputy may be aware that Section 71 of the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA database System) Act 2014 provides for the establishment of a committee to oversee the management and operation of the DNA Database System for the purposes of maintaining the integrity and security of the System and to satisfy itself that the provisions of the Act in relation to the System are being complied with. A total of 6 meetings have taken place and the Committee will soon produce an annual report in relation to the performance of its functions and the DNA Database System. It will in due course be submitted to me as Minister and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.
My Department also chairs meetings of the DNA Database Implementation Group which assesses progress and discusses operational issues since the enactment of the Act and live operation of the Database at the end of 2014. Representation on the Group includes the Garda Technical Bureau, Forensic Science Ireland, the National Forensic Co-ordination Office, Irish Youth Justice Service, Irish Prison Service and GSOC.