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CNB’s Next-Gen Reporting Centre: Faster, Safer and More Secure Testing for Drug Supervisees
An innovative, first-of-its-kind solution for urine sample testing.

Making urine sample testing for drug supervisees faster, safer and more secure – that’s the goal of the Next-Gen Reporting Centre (NGRC), unveiled by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) at its Workplan Seminar 2018 on 22 May 2018. 

A collaboration between the CNB and the Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs, the NGRC not only makes the urine specimen testing process faster and more efficient, it is also resistant to tampering and contamination, and reduces the biohazard risk faced by CNB officers. 

25 May CNB WPS Collage
Streamlined for ease and complicity, CNB’s Next-Gen Reporting Centre brings about improvements to accuracy, capacity, durability, work productivity and hygiene. GRAPHIC: Home Team News

Here’s how the NGRC system works. 
 
Step 1: Appointment Booking System (ABS) 
With the ABS, drug supervisees can make appointments online or at a self-service kiosk at the NGRC. The ABS also regulates the number of supervisees at the NGRC, preventing overcrowding and reducing the waiting time for supervisees. It also takes into account walk-in appointments as well as early or late arrivals. 

Step 2: Admin & Register Kiosk (ARK)
25 May 2018 CNB Workplan ARK
Simple and intuitive: ARKs allow drug supervisees to perform routine tasks on their own. PHOTO: Ash Tiswari

Upon arriving at the NGRC, drug supervisees are directed to self-service platforms known as ARKs. Here, they can perform tasks such as scheduling appointments, submitting medical certificates and updating their personal profiles. 

Step 3: Authenticate & Label Kiosk (ALK)
24 May 2018 CNB Workplan Seminar ALK
 Supervisees can use an array of means to authenticate their identities; smart cards, fingerprints and even facial recognition. PHOTO: Ash Tiwari

The ALK is the second stop for drug supervisees undergoing routine urine specimen testing at the NGRC. It authenticates the drug supervisee through smart cards or fingerprint/facial biometric data (currently, supervisees are visually verified by CNB officers at Reporting Centres). Once their identities are confirmed, the ALK will then print and affix labels onto urine specimen bottles and test tubes, which are issued to the drug supervisee. 

Step 4: Specimen Handling Platform (SHP)
24 May 2018 CNB Workplan SHP
Keeping their hands clear; the SHP can also cap and de-cap specimen bottles. PHOTO: Ash Tiswari

Once the urine bottles have been filled, supervisees report to the SHP where the urine specimens are prepared for analysis. The SHP automates a number of processes within a single sterile environment under video surveillance, reducing the health and biohazard risks faced by CNB officers. 

After verifying the identities of the supervisees, the SHP homogenises and divides the urine specimens into smaller portions – a test tube for CNB testing, as well as smaller urine bottles to be sent to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for further tests if required. The SHP can also retrieve or dispose of containers safely, as well as detect leakages. 

Step 5: Specimen Sealing Platform (SSP) 
24 May 2018 CNB Workplan SSP
An entire packaging process automated: Samples are sealed before they are sent for testing. PHOTO: Ash Tiswari

The smaller urine bottles are brought to the SSP, which packages urine specimens that are needed to be sent to the HSA for confirmation testing. Once the SSP tightens the bottles, the bottles are labelled with the particulars and e-signatures of drug supervisees and encased in a shrink-wrap to guard against leaks and tampering. 

Trials of the NGRC project are expected to commence in the third quarter of 2018, and the CNB is working towards operationalising the system from 2020.

Read the speech delivered by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin. 

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 24 May 2018
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