CSC: delays dog FBI delivery
There may be troubles ahead
Trilogy, the $457.8 million, three-phase modernization of the FBI's investigative system infrastructure, will now miss its delivery date of December 13, 2003. According to the General Services Administration, this is because Computer Sciences Corp missed a "critical delivery date". Regardless of where the blame should be laid, this is the last thing CSC needs as it becomes increasingly reliant on federal business.
CSC's missed IT system delivery deadline for the FBI means that the third and final phase, the delivery of a Virtual Case File system, an online system on the Trilogy network that will allow FBI agents to search, analyze and compile case information, will not be deployed on time. CSC has already delivered phase one with the deployment of more than 21,000 new desktops, printers and scanners to FBI workstations, as well as the second phase, building a wide area network to 595 sites, including 622 local area networks, 2,612 switches and routers, and 291 servers.
Statements from the GSA and FBI have pointed the finger of blame at CSC. But CSC may not be the main culprit behind the delays with Trilogy. The FBI is known to have poor IT project management skills, and has already been criticized severely in a series of Justice Department investigations into its practices.
In October this year, the Justice Department inspector general's office warned of potential stumbling blocks with Virtual Case File, reporting that: "The lack of technical, cost and schedule baselines not only creates uncertainties for how much the [system] will cost and when it will be completed, but also how it will perform upon implementation."
Accounts like this support ongoing claims from consultants and analyst groups that most client organizations are not capable of managing large-scale IT services contracts successfully. Indeed, poor management on the client's part is behind most outsourcing failures post implementation as well, according to a survey carried out by the Shared Services and Business Process Outsourcing Association (SBPOA).
But regardless of where the blame lies, the revelation of the FBI delay has come at a sensitive time for CSC. With Federal sector revenue more than doubling to $904.6 million in CSC's recent Q1, thanks mainly to its $1 billion acquisition of DynCorp in December, CSC is increasingly reliant on federal business growth.