Pacific Forensic Working Group

Pacific Forensic Working Group (PFWG) role is to enhance sustainable police forensic capability by identifying and implementing sustainable forensic capacity building activities for the Pacific region.

The PFWG provides a forum for sharing information on forensic training and knowledge in the Pacific.

Implementing Structure

The PFWG was formed in 2010 and is constituted as a working group reporting to the PICP through the PICP Secretariat (PICP-S). It is coordinated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) through the Pacific Police Development Program Regional (PPDPR).
The PFWG membership consists of:

  • The Chair or PICP Executive Leader (on 2-year tenure)
  • PFWG Chair
  • An AFP standing position
  • Approximately 12 active member Pacific countries.

The PFWG is underpinned by two primary governance documents:

  • PFWG 2014-2015 Annual Business Plan and
  • PFWG Strategic Plan 2013-2016.

The Australian Attorney-General’s Department has been working in partnership with the Pacific Forensic Working Group (PFWG) and Pacific legal officers to develop model provisions for the collection and use of forensic evidence. At the 2015 Conference, the Commissioners approved the Pacific Forensic Model Provisions as a guide for forensic law reform in the Pacific.

The development of the model provisions built on the work of the Pacific Forensic Legislation Review, which was initiated by PICP in response to the need to ensure that increasing capabilities of police in the Pacific to undertake forensic investigations are appropriately legally supported. If countries are interested in reviewing their laws relating to forensic evidence please do not hesitate to contact

PICP Executive Leader: Acting Commissioner Iven Notte

Programme Manager: Australian Federal Police – PPDPR

PICP Secretariat Contact: D/Sgt David MacGregor

Funding: Australian Federal Police (AFP) through PPDPR

The Pacific Forensic Working Group meet in Samoa led by Commissioner Corey Caleb of the Nauru Police, April 2019.

History in last 5 years

PFWG activities have included the refurbishment of forensic laboratories in Samoa, Tonga and Cook Islands; laboratory training; fingerprint training in PNG and the Solomon Islands; and a crime scene introduction course in Palau.

In 2012 PFWG introduced the Pacific Automated Fingerprint Identification System (PAFIS) to assist Pacific police in identifying possible offenders in criminal matters.

In 2014 forensic specialists from 10 Pacific Island countries progressed the development of forensic legislation for the Pacific. Also in 2014, 19 PFWG members completed a Cert IV in Crime Scene Examination course.

2015 PICP Members approved the Pacific Forensic Model Provisions as a guide for forensic law reform in the Pacific. These Provisions can be viewed in the publications section of this web.

Current Projects and/or Focus

The PFWG has a 2014-2015 annual business plan focusing on four goals to set the strategic direction:

  • Acquisition and modernisation of equipment and ongoing support to achieve effective and efficient forensic capability;
  • Police forensic facilities meet relevant standards and requirements;
  • Police forensic services are staffed by appropriately qualified and trained staff; and
  • Police forensic services are supported by relevant legislation, policies and operating procedures.

In September 2014, the Australian Attorney General’s Department released a Pacific Forensic Legislation Review. The review identified legal gaps in Pacific forensic laws and made a number of recommendations for a regional process to drive law reform. These recommendations were endorsed by PICP at 2014 annual conference and are currently being coordinated by Pacific Island Law Officers Network (PILON).