Feeds

FBI blew $170m on doomed IT upgrade

'Virtual Case File' project finally ditched

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has finally conceded defeat in developing a crucial case management system called Virtual Case File. The system, by Science Applications International, was to be part of the Bureau's "Trilogy" modernization scheme, an urgent mandate since the 9/11 atrocities.

The system was intended to allow all FBI offices to search for and access case files and related documents, and to permit separate offices to collaborate on line. The Bureau's inability to organize information and share it among field offices has been cited as one reason why the 9/11 plot was not discovered in advance. There were clues, but no one was in a position to see enough of them to recognize their significance.

The Virtual Case File project has been plagued by cost overruns and delays since its inception. But the Bureau stuck with it, a process that US Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat, Vermont) described as "a slow-moving train wreck where no one had sense enough to apply the brake".

Approximately $170m of taxpayers' money has been sunk in the perpetually delayed, and now doomed, venture, out of nearly $600m allocated for technology upgrades. The Bureau concedes that the system is capable of only 10 per cent of its requirements, and cannot be salvaged, except perhaps for minor bits that might be recycled in a future replacement.

Unfortunately, the Bureau has blown its budget and will have to come crawling to Congress for the money it needs to start over from scratch. While there is no question that Congress will, in fact, authorize whatever funds the FBI needs, there is also no doubt that Director Robert Mueller and his top project managers will be forced to endure a lengthy and humiliating round of public excoriation, during which their intelligence and trustworthiness with public funds will be brought into question continually.

We can hardly wait. ®

Related stories

FBI anti-terror network scares experts
MI5 plugs in terror website
CSC: delays dog FBI delivery

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.