On December 9, 2019, the Research Institute of Forensic Sciences at the Ministry of Interior announced the start of their pre-defined project entitled “Development of Expert Forensic Examinations and Activities at the Research Institute of Forensic Sciences at the Ministry of Interior (RIFS) and technical upgrade and expansion of the possibilities of five basic regional forensic laboratories”. The opening event was attended by the Deputy Minister of the Interior Milko Berner, the Director of the Research Institute of Forensic Sciences at the Ministry of Interior, representatives of the donor project partner - National Criminal Investigation Service of Kingdom of Norway (Kripos), the Director of the Ministry of the Interior - Varna and representatives of the basic scientific and technical laboratories at the regional directorates in Burgas, Pleven, Plovdiv and Sofia. The project is supported by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 under the Home Affairs Programme. The project will be implemented for 36 months and its total budget is 1 973 220 euro. Of these, 1 272 644 euro will be used as an investment component for technical equipment and the rest of the project budget of 700 576 euro will be used for purchase of software. The project envisages upgrading and expanding the equipment of five regional forensic laboratories in the Regional Police Directorate of Plovdiv, Burgas, Varna and Pleven, and the Municipal Directorate of the Ministry of Interior. The aim is to unify the technique, which will lead to both higher quality and harmonization of the performance of the research carried out in these laboratories. Specialized trainings for experts in Norway and Bulgaria and a scientific conference are envisaged. The project will also support the elaboration and the publication of a Practical Guide to Forensics.
With the implementation of this project, we expect to increase the possibilities for comparative analyses of the evidence collected in pre-trial proceedings for synthetic drugs and the examination of digital and documentary evidence, said Deputy Minister Milko Berner. According to him, thus, the load on RIFS will be distributed among the five regional laboratories in the country and the process will be accelerated. The new technical equipment will bring closer the forensic services of Bulgaria and Norway, and this will undoubtedly enhance the cooperation within the European Union, added the representatives of the National Criminal Investigation Service - Norway (Kripos). They expressed their willingness to share their expertise in various forensic fields in the otherwise excellent work of their Bulgarian colleagues. The Director of the Forensic Science Research Institute Dobrinka Markova thanked for the support of the Ministry's leadership, acknowledged the hard work of the colleagues so far and wished them a successful and fruitful work in the future.