The case management challenge

To get a sense of the challenge ahead for FBI officials committed to streamlining case management, consider this: Bureau locales vary from mega-offices with gigabit connectivity to small offices in foreign countries where officials make do with 56 kilobits/sec dial-up lines. The agency maintains more than 300,000 open and closed cases per year, each with a 20-year retention period.

Those cases comprise more than 100 million text documents. One large case file might contain more than 100,000 documents, 1,000 leads and 1,000 evidence items. And the FBI is only one of many federal agencies with a stake in creating a common case management architecture known as the Federal Investigative Case Management System.

Officials expect the system to manage paperless case files, create and manage documents across multiple components and Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, manage evidence, perform searches, and generate reports.

In announcing the formation of a case management business task force earlier this year, Office of Management and Budget officials said their goal was to have a target case management architecture reflected in business cases submitted for the fiscal 2006 budget review.

According to a Sept. 14 request for information, a common case management system would save money by cutting duplicative services across investigative agencies.

Vendors' responses to the request should include information on how business processes and data elements could be standardized across departments. The request describes a system that is modular, capable of phased implementation and equipped with real-time access control accountability.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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