FBI to begin second phase of case management project

The FBI this month awarded a task order to begin work on the second and more complicated phase of its case management system, a program that will allow agents nationwide to share information on investigations.

Under the Phase II task order, the FBI will build out a Web portal for the case management system, known as Sentinel. Under Phase I, Lockheed Martin, which won the $305 million Sentinel contract in March 2006, built the front page of the Web portal, which features functions such as Google search and an FBI phonebook.

Under Phase II, the FBI will build the functionality to put case files on the system and allow agents to manage the cases, write reports and share evidence and other information. In Phase II agents will be able to perform records management, including the ability to send notifications and action items, and assign and reassign leads.

"The FBI is very forms-driven; making them available online will help to facilitate information sharing and collaboration," said Dean Hall, deputy chief information officer for the FBI. "Agents need assurance that documents that are highly selective will be protected, but they also need to be able to share that information across the enterprise. Ensuring that proper access controls are in place is essential. A cornerstone of Sentinel is strong identity and data access management."

Sentinel was developed as a replacement for the FBI's failed $170 million Virtual Case File, which was supposed to automate the bureau's paper-based investigation system. The FBI accelerated work on the VCF shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Reports cited the failure of the FBI to share information with agents inside the bureau and with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies about suspicious students taking flying lessons prior to Sept. 11. The FBI killed VCF in 2005 after repeated budget overruns, missed deadlines and performance issues.

Sentinel isn't "necessarily a grand plan; more of a way to take advantage of existing technologies," said Ray Bjorklund, chief knowledge officer for FedSources, a federal marketing research firm in McLean, Va. He said law enforcement agencies need to move information and evidence on investigations quickly so that decisions can be made and actions can be taken at a moments notice. "In the context of a post-9/11 world, it becomes even more important," he said.

Hall declined to identify the value of the task order for the second phase. However, he said the task order remained in line with budget projections, which according to a Government Accountability Office report, totaled $138 million in fiscal 2007 and $50 million for fiscal 2008. "The funding profile hasn't changed, but we have switched to incremental funding and therefore did not award the entire amount to Lockheed upfront," Hall said. "It is easier to divide it into segments."

He said the bureau plans to have the Sentinel portal site operational in six months. In early 2008, the FBI will start Phase III, which includes making electronic forms and workflow management applications available, while continuing to add various functions to the main Web site. "The Sentinel portal will be a one-stop shop," Hall said. "It will follow the same sort of model as a Yahoo! or Google portal."

Hall acknowledged the difficulties of migrating from a paper-based system to digital formats. "First, you need a strong data repository with operations capabilities," he said. "You need the ability to recover information very quickly in the event of a loss. Maintaining that and maintaining digital identities properly through Public Key Infrastructure are all [crucial]. We've been working closely with Lockheed on this."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.