Founded in 1992, the National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS) was overseen by a Board of Control consisting of a Chair nominated by the Federal Attorney-General, three Police Commissioners and the heads of three forensic science laboratories. The Honourable John Harber Phillips AC, QC was the nominated Chair from 1992 to 2008.
In 2009, following a decision by the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management, NIFS became a directorate within ANZPAA, an agency that is hosted by Victoria Police and governed by the ANZPAA Board of Police Commissioners.
In 2013, the ANZPAA Board directed an independent review of NIFS. The review was completed in 2014 by The Honourable Frank Vincent AO, QC to inform decisions on the future governance and funding arrangements of NIFS.This review resulted in the establishment of the Australia New Zealand Forensic Executive Committee (ANZFEC) to provide funding and oversight of NIFS.
In 2016, the existing Senior Managers of Australia New Zealand Forensic Laboratories (SMANZFL) voted unanimously to amalgamate its membership to ANZFEC and transfer management of the Specialist Advisory Groups to ANZPAA NIFS.
More information on the history of SMANZFL can be found in the 2008 journal article by Mr Alastair Ross, A brief history of SMANZFL on the 21st anniversary of its formation (Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences 40:1, 31-35).