Annals of crime: the FBI's continuing computer woes
About two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, an FBI agent assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center had an eye-opening computer experience.
With the click of his mouse on a desk top icon, he could see all the overnight classified CIA reports from Pakistan.
The system was called Hercules. When the agent came back to FBI headquarters, he sought out his bosses.
“Why don’t we have something like that?” he asked, exasperated. His managers assured him the FBI would soon have its own bigger and better system.
I first reported that back in 2006.
All these years and many hundreds of millions of dollars later, the FBI is still struggling -- to put it mildly -- to build its own investigative case management system, the Justice Department’s Inspector General reported today.
“The OIG report released today identified serious concerns about the progress of the FBI’s Sentinel project,” a Justice Department press release said.
“Specifically, the FBI has yet to complete Phase 2 of the project and has suspended work on portions of Sentinel’s third phase and all of its fourth phase because of concerns the FBI had with the usability, performance, and quality of the deliverables provided in an effort to complete Sentinel’s second phase.”
The back story, in case you’ve missed the OIG’s reports on Sentinel over the past five years:
“After more than 3 years and $334 million expended on the development and maintenance of Sentinel, the cost to Sentinel is rising, the completion of Sentinel has been delayed, and the FBI does not have a current schedule or cost estimate for completing the project.”
Actually, it gets worse:
“In today’s report," the OIG continued, "we also noted that the FBI had conditionally accepted delivery of Segment 4 of Sentinel’s Phase 2 in December 2009, despite knowing that there were serious performance and usability issues. “
Investigators found “10,000 inefficiencies in Sentinel’s software code” supplied by the FBI’s contractor, Lockheed Martin.
The FBI said it’s still trying hard.
“In its response to the report, the FBI stated that it is currently taking steps to determine if these inefficiencies affect Sentinel’s performance and the resources required to repair the code as necessary.”
| March 31, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Beyond Moscow subway bombings, Russia-U.S. intelligence bond limited
Next: CIA’s top spy: No losses from waterboarding ban
Posted by: jhmil2 | March 31, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: john_bruckner | March 31, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: graywolf98 | March 31, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jgmann | April 1, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scientist1 | April 2, 2010 5:19 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.