FBI latest computer overhaul has more glitches
The FBI’s trouble-plagued, long-running effort to put in place a new computer system has hit a few more glitches.
An audit report Tuesday by the Justice Department’s inspector general said the latest phase of the project for a fully electronic case management system will take three months longer than last expected and will cost $155 million — $18 million more than what had been budgeted.
It identified several new areas of concern with the overall progress of the so-called Sentinel project and with implementation of the project’s second phase.
There have been problems with the FBI’s computer systems dating back more than a decade and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks led FBI Director Robert Mueller to try to accelerate efforts for a massive upgrade.
In 2006, the FBI awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to develop the system in four phases. The FBI came up with the project after problems caused it to scrap an earlier system.
The FBI’s estimate of Sentinel’s overall cost has not increased from about $450 million since the last inspector general audit nearly a year ago.
But the overall project completion date has been pushed back to September of 2010, three months later than what the FBI previously estimated and nine months later than what was originally planned, according to the audit.
The audit also said FBI employees have expressed concerns about the system’s current operation, complaining about its slow response time to requests for information.
An upgrade of the FBI’s aging computer network, planned to be done by December, should make the system faster.
The FBI said in a statement that it “appreciates the inspector general’s review of the FBI’s Sentinel Program progress and recognition of the FBI’s efforts to resolve concerns identified in previous Sentinel audits.”
– Photo credit: Reuters/Nir Elias