The FDDU was initially established as the Federal Convicted Offender (FCO) Program in 2000 as a result of enacted federal legislation (DNA Backlog Elimination Action). The FCO program was originally part of the FBI Laboratory’s mitochondrial casework unit, the DNA Analysis Unit II (DNAAUII), relocating into the nuclear casework unit, DNA Analysis Unit I (DNAAUI), in 2002. The history of expanding DNA legislation over the next decade significantly impacted both the scope and direction of the FCO Program in this time-frame.
Chronologically, on January 28, 2001, federal regulations of the DNA Backlog Elimination Act became effective, authorizing the FCO Program to accept sample submissions with corresponding uploads of DNA profiles to the National DNA Index System (NDIS) proceeding by 2002. In 2004, the FCO Program incorporated the first significant technology advancements, to include FTA extractions and a computerized Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), both becoming a foundation for the Laboratory’s emerging high-through put capabilities. This was timely, due to the expansion of federal DNA legislation in 2004 (Justice for All Act), which effectively widened the scope of authorized submissions to virtually all federal convictions.
In January 2009, DNA collection procedures were promulgated for further DNA legislation expansions from 2005 (DNA Fingerprint Act) and 2006 (Adam Walsh Child Safety Protection Act) that has resulted in today’s present collection and submission procedures, which includes federal arrestees as well as non-U.S. citizens detained under the authority of the United States government. The corresponding expansion of submissions over a short time-frame created a backlog of samples within the FCO Program, reaching as many as 300,000 specimens. In 2009, DNAAUI was restructured into separate casework and databank disciplines, with the FCO Program becoming its own unit, the Federal DNA Database Unit. In September 2010, through concerted efforts by highly skilled and dedicated unit personnel, coupled with enhanced technology solutions, the FDDU successfully eliminated the backlog, uploading more than 300,000 samples to the NDIS, including a record number of 80,000 samples in July 2010.