The troubled implementation of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) case management IT system Sentinal has almost reached its $451 million budget but was only half complete, according to an audit by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General [PDF].
"After spending about $405 million (AU$413 million) of the $451 million (AU$460 million) budgeted for the Sentinel project, the FBI has delivered only two of Sentinel's four phases to its agents and analysts," the agency reported Wednesday in its latest audit of the FBI system. The Sentinal project, for which Lockheed Martin was commissioned US$305 million in 2006 was meant to replace a case management digitisation project, Virtual Case File, that was abandoned in 2005.
The web-based system should have been delivered in whole by the close of 2009, however a 2007-08 review revised the cost from US$425 million to US$451 million and extended the deadline to June 2010. The audit found that only four of 18 forms that were meant to be web-based had been migrated to Sentinal, leaving FBI agents, by and large, on the print treadmill. "Moreover, even these four forms still are not fully automated," the DOJ inspector found. Early project wins, such as automating the four forms, were negated by the failure to deliver later phases of the project. For example, agents still required companion 'signed approval' forms for the four web-based processes that had been completed. The FBI issued Lockheed Martin a"partial stop work" order over two phases of the project due to what it considered unsatisfactory work delivered by the company.The audit's findings were rejected by FBI associate deputy director Thomas Harrington as "inflated" according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. "We believe that the interim report does not accurately reflect the FBI's management of the Sentinel project, and fails to credit the FBI with taking corrective action to keep it on budget," he said.
A spokesman for Lockheed Martin told iTnews the outsourcer is "currently supporting the FBI as they continue to enhance the Sentinel case management system.
"The FBI has a strong foundation on which to build, with thousands of agents, analysts and supervisors accessing Sentinel each week in support of their mission," the spokesman said.
"A Lockheed Martin team of subject matter experts is supporting the FBI-led development team in their path forward. Lockheed Martin is also continuing to provide operations and maintenance support for the Sentinel system."
NB: The text of this story originally inferred that Lockheed Martin had been 'fired' from the Sentinal Project. iTnews has since learned that only two parts of the project were included in the "stop work order". We apologise for the error.
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