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Tag: Sentinel

Inspector General Report: FBI’s Half-Billion-Dollar Computer System Is Rife with Problems

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI spent a half-billion-dollars on a Sentinel computerized file system, but the system is rife with problems, Newsweek reports.

Officials insisted the Sentinel would be completed by the end of 2009 for $425 million. But a report by the Justice Department Inspector General found mismanagement, cost overruns and technical problems that have raised the price by another $100 million, Newsweek wrote.

Sentinel replaced the bureau’s antiquated Automatic Case Support System, known as ACS.

Despite the problems, the Inspector General report found that a majority of FBI employees surveyed agreed that “Sentinel has had an overall positive impact on the FBI’s operations, making the FBI better able to carry out its mission, and better able to share information.”

Still, the report found many problems.

The FBI, for example, said the system’s search function was working properly.

“Yet we found that only 42 percent of the respondents to our survey who used Sentinel’s search functionality often received the results they needed,” the IG reported

IG Report Highly Critical of FBI’s Sentinel Computer Project; FBI Calls Report Unfair

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department’s Inspector General report released Wednesday sharply criticized the FBI for its handling of a yet to be completed case management system  that will convert the agency’s criminal records from paper to computers, saying it is still fraught with problems including cost overruns.  The report also expressed concern that delays may result in some components of the system being obsolete.

But the FBI quickly shot back with a statement Wednesday, characterizing the  report on the “Sentinel Project” as unfair.

“We believe that the interim report does not accurately reflect the FBI’s management of the Sentinel project, and fails to credit the FBI with taking corrective action to keep it on budget,” the FBI said in a statement.

“Moreover, the interim report comes at a time when the FBI has changed its plan for completing the project, and the Department of Justice has authorized us to go forward with our new approach. The report, however, continues to rely on outdated cost estimates that do not apply to the current FBI plan.”

The Inspector General’s 29-page report entitled  “Status of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Implementation of the Sentinel Proejct”  concluded:

“As of August 2010, the FBI’s Sentinel system is at least 2 years behind schedule and at least $100 million over budget. According to its original system plan, Sentinel was to be fully completed by now. However, only two of Sentinel’s intended four phases have been substantially completed, and some of the most difficult tasks are still to come.”

“The FBI has spent about $405 million for the development of the functionality that it has provided to date, along with aspects of the project that may or may not be implemented depending on a reassessment the FBI is now performing in an effort to complete Sentinel within its defined budget of $451 million.”

“We are also concerned that the longer the full implementation of Sentinel takes, the more likely it is that already implemented hardware and software features will become obsolete.”

Read full report

Read full FBI statement

FBI’s Troubled Computer Project to Go In House

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– The FBI is making a new move to try and bring its troubled computer project called the “Sentinel” under control, according to the Washington Post’s Capital Business report. The program has been plagued by endless glitches.

The paper reports that the FBI has decided to bring the project in house, with its IT division taking over from contractor, Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin. The system has been designed to replace the FBI’s paper-based system for criminal investigation records.

The paper reports that the project is expected to go quicker and come within the $451 million budget. Lockheed Martin will be retained as a subject matter expert, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Dir. Mueller Assures Senators Overhaul of Computer System No Boondoggle

Robert Mueller and Eric Holder in 2009/fbi photo

Robert Mueller and Eric Holder in 2009/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The massive overhaul of the FBI’s computerized case management system may not be as big a mess as it seems — at least that’s what Director Robert S. Mueller III told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday.

The website Main Justice reported that Mueller said the delays on the $305 million project known as the Sentinel were routine and assured Senators that it would not become a boondoggle.

Main Justice reported that Mueller’s decision to suspend work on parts of the program resulted from the discovery of some “coding defects.”

“Is this just a normal delay … or are we on the way to boondoggle?” asked Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and science Appropriations Subcommittee, Main Justice reported.

Mueller said it was a minor setback.

To read more click here.

Read Full Statement before the committee