Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI PROGRAM NAMED IN "TOP 50" OF THE 2005 INNOVATIONS IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AWARDS COMPETITION

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The FBI's Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) initiative was chosen as one of the "Top 50" programs in the 2005 Innovations in American Government Awards competition. Over 1,000 government organizations submitted applications to the annual competition-now in its 18th year.

According to Harvard University, the 50 semi-finalists "represent the best and brightest in government." Four criteria were used to evaluate each application: novelty, effectiveness in addressing important problems, significance, and the potential for replication by other government entities.

The RCFL Program is a national network of one-stop, full-service digital evidence laboratories. The FBI provides start-up and operational funding, training, personnel and equipment, while local area law enforcement agencies assign personnel to work as Examiners. During Fiscal Year 2004, the program supplied full service digital forensics support to over 1,000 law enforcement agencies in nearly a half dozen states; accepted 1,548 requests for service; conducted 1,304 forensics examinations, and trained 2,040 law enforcement personnel in various digital forensics techniques. Currently, there are seven RCFLs in operation, with another six laboratories opening in 2005.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said, "It is an honor to have the FBI recognized in this prestigious competition. We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the importance of strengthening law enforcement's digital forensics capacity. By combining partnerships and technology, the RCFL Program is blazing a bold, new path for all of law enforcement."

Most recently, RCFL personnel have collaborated with an array of law enforcement officials from all levels of government to provide digital forensics support for several major, high-profile investigations, including the murder of a 23-year old pregnant woman in Wichita, Kansas, the murders of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow's mother and husband in Chicago, and; the "BTK" serial murder case.

The award is a program of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and is administered in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.

Out of the 50 semi-finalists, eighteen will be named finalists in mid-April. To learn more about the RCFL Program, visit www.rcfl.gov.

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