Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

FBI counterpunches IT criticism

Filed under
Misc

Apparently stung by criticism of its IT projects old and new, the FBI today denied charges leveled in the press and by congressional investigators about the conduct of its Virtual Case File and Sentinel projects.

CIO Zalmai Azmi cited the "inaccuracy of a news report in U.S. News and World Report" that pegged the price of the Sentinel IT overhaul project at $800 million. "There is no $800 million project in the FBI," Azmi said. A barbed exchange between Azmi and a reporter followed, during which Azmi repeatedly denied detailed inquiries about meetings reportedly concerning the Sentinel budget.

Azmi also denied a Washington Post report, based on statements in a House Appropriations Committee staff investigation, that the FBI had withheld from VCF contractor Science Applications International Corp. details of 400 alleged problems the bureau found in the defunct case management system.

In addition, he rejected the congressional investigation's allegations that FBI officials were "scrambling" to prepare the Sentinel project and that bureau officials early this year had chose to pilot a version of VCF for political rather than technical reasons.

GCN reported earlier, and Azmi confirmed today, that FBI officials had met with SAIC officials last spring to discuss the 400 issues the bureau had with VCF at the time. SAIC contended that the 400 issues comprised change requests, not problems with the vendor's software work.

Azmi touted the effectiveness of the bureau's IT organization and the stability of its management. He cited the FBI's progress in other phases of its Trilogy IT makeover, including building out three wide area networks and equipping tens of thousands of users with desktops.

As for Sentinel, Azmi said it would proceed to an industry day later this month, a proposal request in July, 40 calendar days for vendors to prepare proposals and a contract award by December.

Azmi also said the FBI has recruited a program manager for the Sentinel project from the CIA. Miodrag "Mio" Lazarevich will start June 13. His most recent CIA job has been deputy director of the special communications program in the agency's CIO office. Lazarevich earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona at Tuscon.

Azmi said Lazarevich has managed programs larger than the Sentinel project. The CIA official is on a two-year detail assignment to the bureau, which may be renewed for a third year.

The FBI learned a lot from the VCF project and is determined to avoid the mistakes that led to its downfall, Azmi said. For example, the bureau will roll out Sentinel in stages over a 40 to 43 month period, and use earned value management to keep tabs on its contractors' activities he said. The bureau currently plans a four-phase rollout for Sentinel, but the project's vendor could propose an alternate schedule, Azmi said.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Qt Creator 4.1 Brings Editor Improvements, Better CMake Support, and New Themes

A new stable version of the cross-platform and open-source Qt Creator IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software has been released recently for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Read more

Linux and Graphics

Security News

  • Hacking the American College Application Process
    In recent years, foreign students have streamed into American universities, their numbers nearly doubling in the last decade. About half of all international students are coming from Asian countries, many of which have been subject to heavy recruitment from American colleges. Taking advantage of the popularity of an American education, a new industry has sprung up in East Asia, focused on guiding students through the U.S. college application process with SAT preparation courses, English tutors and college essay advisors. But not all college prep companies are playing by the rules. In their investigative series for Reuters, a team of reporters found that foreign companies are increasingly helping students game the U.S. college application process. Some companies have leaked questions from college entrance exams to their students before they take the test. Others have gone so far as to ghostwrite entire college applications and complete coursework for students when they arrive on campus. We spoke with Steve Stecklow, one of the reporters on the team, about what they uncovered.
  • illusive networks' Deceptions Everywhere
    illusive networks' bread and butter is its deception cybersecurity technology called Deceptions Everywhere whose approach is to neutralize targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats by creating a deceptive layer across the entire network. By providing an endless source of false information, illusive networks disrupts and detects attacks with real-time forensics and without disruption to business.
  • Mozila Offers Free Security Scanning Service: Observatory
    With an eye toward helpiing administrators protect their websites and user communities, Mozilla has developed an online scanner that can check if web servers have optimal security settings in place. It's called Observatory and was initially built for in-house use, but it may very well be a difference maker for you. "Observatory by Mozilla is a project designed to help developers, system administrators, and security professionals configure their sites safely and securely," the company reports.