FBI's Trilogy hits snag

A missed deadline will prevent the FBI from rolling out the final phase of the agency's Trilogy modernization project next month, General Services Administration officials said last week.

Computer Sciences Corp., the contractor working on the information presentation piece of the three-phase project, failed to meet a critical delivery date, according to GSA officials who are overseeing the project. As a result, the Virtual Case File system will not be deployed by Dec. 13 as planned. Trilogy's online system will allow agents to search, analyze and compile case information (see box).

CSC was supposed to have completed the conversion of the FBI's e-mail and file and print systems from Novell Inc. software to Microsoft Corp. Exchange and Windows 2000 servers for all FBI personnel, according to the General Services Administration.

GSA officials said they are working with CSC and the FBI to determine a corrective course of action. Meanwhile, FBI officials are continuing to train employees on the technology upgrades. They referred questions on the delay to GSA.

GSA officials will also work with CSC to ensure that the company delivers the contracted services.

"While we are disappointed with the missed deadline, GSA is fully committed to working with the FBI and CSC to ensure the successful completion of the FBI's information technology upgrades," said Bob Suda, Federal Technology Service assistant commissioner for IT solutions, in a statement.

Company officials said in a statement that they completed the first two phases and are committed to delivering the full capacity of the project.

"CSC and the FBI are taking positive steps to address the causes of program delays, and meetings are ongoing to schedule a new baseline for the program, which will now be managed by CSC's Enforcement, Security and Intelligence unit, which is led by Tim Sheahan," the officials said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been closely watching the FBI's technology upgrades. "This comes as a huge disappointment," he said. "Last year, I chaired a hearing on this very issue, and I continue to press the FBI regularly about prioritizing the modernization of its information technology systems. We need answers about this latest snafu, and we need to remain vigilant in monitoring these increasingly disturbing delays at the FBI."

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Bush administration's $61.7 million budget request for Trilogy in September. The House version of the bill, approved by that body's Appropriations Committee in July, recommended $80.3 million for Trilogy technology needs, operations and maintenance.


Plugging in

Computer Sciences Corp. is at work on a $300 million task order under the FBI's Trilogy program. It includes:

* The information presentation component for hardware and a Web browser interface.

* The transportation network component for end-to-end communications, encryption and enterprise management tools.

The first two phases of the project were completed in March with the rollout of the network to 591 sites, linking 22,000 new desktop workstations, 2,612 switches and routers, 622 Ethernet local-area networks, and 291 servers.

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