Porntip unveils forensic reform plans

Porntip Rojanasunan, director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS), said on Wednesday she will propose three options to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) for the reform of forensic services in Thailand.

Currently, two agencies are responsible for forensic operations - the CIFS under the Justice Ministry and the Forensic Medicine Institute under the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO).

Khunying Porntip said that now she was reappointed CIFS director she had many urgent tasks before her, and reform was a priority.

She believed the previous government wanted to disssolve the CIFS.  Last year, the CIFS received only a slight 0.2% increase in its budget allocation, compared to 10-20% for other departments.

The CIFS director said she had discussed the issue of reforms with Gen Paiboon Khumchaya, the assistant army chief in charge of the legal and justice affairs for the NCPO.

Gen Paiboon asked her to compile a list of problems and obstacles to the CIFS's operations.  She planned to seek a meeting  with Chanchao Chaiyanukij, the acting permanent secretary for justice, to seek his opinion before making a proposal to the NCPO.

Khunying Porntip said she had it in mind to propose three options for forensic reform.

The first is for the RTPO's Forensic Medicine Institute to integrate with the CIFS.  After the integration, the forensice science agency would be transferred and placed under the Public Health Ministry.  This option followed the Singapore model.

The second option is for the RTPO's Forensic Medicine Institute and CIFS to be combined as one department to be directly under the Justice Ministry.  This follows the Australian model.

The third is for the Forensic Medicine Institute to remain with the RTPO and the CIFS to be transferred to  a security affairs ministry to be set  up in the model of the US Department of Homeland Security.  The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) should also be placed uner the new ministry, which would be an upgrade of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), she said.

Khunying Porntip said these three options were intended to eliminate the overlapping of work by the RTPO's Forensic Medicine Institute and the CIFS.

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