[ISN] FBI Takes Control Of Troubled Sentinel Project

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:50:29 -0500 (CDT)

By John Foley and J. Nicholas Hoover
September 15, 2010

Following a July decision to freeze the last two phases of development 
on its Sentinel case-management system, the FBI now plans to take over 
management of the project from its primary contractor, Lockheed Martin.

The agency plans to use agile development processes to complete the 
project using its own employees and other technology partners, while 
reducing its reliance on Lockheed Martin. FBI CIO Chad Fulgham, in an 
interview with InformationWeek, described the move as "a significant 
change in the scope and responsibility" for Lockheed Martin.

The decision represents a bold move by the agency to salvage the 
Sentinel project, which is currently budgeted to cost $451 million, from 
multiple delays and rising costs. Fulgham said his goal is to complete 
the project on budget and without further delays.

FBI director Robert Mueller indicated in April that Sentinel, originally 
scheduled for completion in 2009, would be pushed back into 2011 due to 
delays and stop work orders. Fulgham now puts the target completion date 
at Sept. 2011, the end of the government's fiscal year, but acknowledges 
that agile development projects can be difficult to forecast. 
Development on Sentinel, currently paused, should begin again by 
October, Fulgham said.

The FBI awarded Sentinel to Lockheed Martin in March 2006 following the 
failure of an earlier effort (called the Virtual Case File system) to 
replace its outdated system for managing case records, saying it had 
learned its lessons from Virtual Case File's shortcomings. Sentinel was 
originally due to be completed over four phases. Two phases have been 
delivered to this point, with most of the system's hardware and software 
infrastructure in place. In July, the FBI released enhancements to the 
system's user interface, new electronic forms, digital signature 
features, and additional collaborative features, and more than 5,000 
users now login to Sentinel weekly. However, much of the system's 
functionality, including a new case management database and some 
reporting capabilities, has yet to be put in place, and the existing 
outdated Automated Case Support system has yet to be retired.


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Received on Wed Sep 15 2010 - 22:50:29 PDT

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