A Monte Carlo simulation and sensitivity cost benefit analysis for use of nylon 4N6FLOQSwabs®

Bruce Budowle, Andrew Arnette, Jianye Ge, Antti Sajantila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Forensic genetic laboratories are challenged with implementing innovation even if the benefits to operational performance are well demonstrated often because of internal budget constraints. A prospective cost–benefit analysis (CBA) could support justification for an increased budget by effectively demonstrating in a system-based approach the relatively small cost of increasing a laboratory budget can substantially reduce costs to society (both qualitatively and monetarily). A Monte Carlo simulation and sensitivity CBA was performed using a more expensive swab (i.e., nylon 4N6FLOQSwabs®) compared with a less costly cotton swab. Ranges of input values and tangible and intangible benefits were considered. The outcome is that the relatively small increased cost of using a nylon swab pales compared with the potential tangible and intangible benefits to the overall system. This approach provides a sounder basis for requesting additional funds to support implementation of technologies and better approximates realistic situations while accommodating uncertainty of input values.

Keywords

  • 4N6FLOQSwabs®
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • DNA profile uploads
  • National DNA database
  • Sexual assault
  • Tangible and intangible costs
  • Victim

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