FBI new computer system faces more woes – report

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (BestGrowthStock) – The long-troubled effort to
upgrade the FBI’s computerized case files is $100 million over
budget and now its contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT.N: ) will play
a smaller role in the project, a U.S. Justice Department report
released on Wednesday said.

The FBI has struggled for years to upgrade its computer
systems, which FBI Director Robert Mueller tried to accelerate
after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. But there have been numerous
setbacks despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent.

Part of the project, known as Sentinel, was halted this
year when more problems emerged. The FBI last estimated the
whole program to cost $451 million, but has already spent $405
million and still has substantial more work to do.

“We found that while Sentinel has delivered some
improvements to the FBI’s case management system, it has not
delivered much of what it originally intended,” according to an
interim report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General
Glenn Fine.

The report said that the Sentinel project was
“approximately $100 million over budget and two years behind
schedule.” The parts of Sentinel that the FBI has already spent
the $405 million on was originally only forecast to cost $306
million.

The FBI slammed the report, saying that it failed to fully
reflect the department’s new plan and relied on outdated cost
estimates. The agency says it now can finish the project for
$20 million and will be done next month.

“The interim report also includes an inflated cost estimate
for completing Sentinel that is based on a worst case scenario
for a plan that we are no longer using,” FBI Associate Deputy
Director Thomas Harrington said in a statement.

“The FBI discarded that approach in favor of agile
development,” he said. “In fact, outdated cost estimates of
this sort led us to pursue our current approach.”

In a pilot program in two FBI field offices in May and
June, FBI employees complained about the program because it
lacked simple things like an integrated spell checker and
auto-save functions, according to Fine’s report.

After the FBI had an independent study done on the project,
which estimated it would cost another $351 million and six
years to complete Sentinel, the agency told Fine that it was
taking over direct management of the project.

As a result, that will “significantly reduce the role of
Lockheed Martin in developing Sentinel,” the report said.

A Lockheed spokesman was not immediately available for
comment.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Xavier Briand)

FBI new computer system faces more woes – report