The FBI is widely known to have the federal government's lamest computer network -- and that's saying something. After the 9/11 attacks, G-Men couldn't even search its records for "flight" and "schools" at the same time.A much-ballyhooed fix for the creaky system, the Virtual Case File, has been in trouble for a long time. And now, things have gotten so bad that the bureau "is on the verge of scrapping major parts of [the] $170 million computer overhaul," the Times reports.
FBI officials said the bureau has contracted with a research company at a cost of $2 million to evaluate the problems in the project... and determine what if any parts can be salvaged. One idea under strong consideration is using off-the-shelf software instead of expensive customized features that have been developed in the last few years but already appear outdated.Genius.THERE'S MORE: This Washington Post piece rounds up reactions to the Virtual Case File's demise.AND MORE: Waaaa!!! Waaaaa!!!! Waaa!!!! It's all the FBI's fault!That the reaction, more or less, from SAIC, the company contracted to build the Virtual Case File.
The FBI modernization effort involved a massive technological and cultural change, agency wide, said Duane Andrews, SAIC chief operating officer. Unfortunately, implementing this change on the Trilogy contract has been difficult to do without impacts to cost and schedule. To add to that complexity, in the time that SAIC has been working on the Trilogy project the FBI has had four different CIOs and fourteen different managers. Establishing and setting system requirements in this environment has been incredibly challenging.