FBI bullish on enterprise services

"It's a major change internally within the FBI [in] how we buy stuff," FBI Chief Acquisition Officer Paul Courtney said.

Shutterstock image: J. Edgar Hoover FBI building.

The FBI must move to more enterprise-wide contracting for IT services to avoid duplication and waste, according to Paul Courtney, the bureau's chief acquisition officer.

The FBI has seven contracting units buying IT, yet only about half of contracting offers are using a vehicle known as the IT Acquisition Program because it doesn't fit their needs, Courtney said June 9 at ACQUIRE, a conference sponsored by FCW.

The FBI is gradually moving to an enterprise-wide model – which Courtney called a "major change" in how the bureau buys things – but it will take time to knock down internal contracting walls, he said. "It's going to take a few years to even get all the customers on board."

The FBI is further ahead than the rest of the Justice Department in adopting enterprise IT contracting, but far behind the General Services Administration, he added.

Courtney also said the FBI is heeding the Obama administration's call for greater use of category management, an en vogue approach to enterprise contracting. The bureau uses four of 10 "super categories" designated by the inter-agency Category Management Leadership Council, he added.

There is big money at stake in the FBI's evolving approach to IT contracting. The bureau spent about $3.7 billion on goods and services in fiscal 2015, roughly 40 percent of which went toward IT, according to Courtney.

The contracting policy shift is reflected in an agency reshuffling intended to give newly appointed CIO Gordon Bitko more control of enterprise-wide IT resources. The bureau's CIO office previously controlled only 40 percent of IT resources, Courtney said, but Bitko has been empowered to take on more responsibility.

Part of Bitko's charge is to look at cloud services, for which Courtney said the bureau still lacks an overarching approach. The FBI nonetheless has ongoing pilots with Amazon Web Services related to using classified information in the cloud, Courtney told FCW after his presentation.

In his presentation, Courtney did not mention the biggest FBI contracting controversy of recent months: the bureau's hiring of a unnamed contractor to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters.

FBI Director James Comey hinted in April that the bureau paid the vendor over $1 million to crack the dead terrorist's phone, while a Reuters report, citing anonymous sources, later put the figure at less than a $1 million.

The FBI controversially chose not to submit the method for unlocking the iPhone to an interagency review process for disclosing software vulnerabilities, saying it did not have enough technical information to do so.

Jason Healey, who was director for cyber infrastructure protection at the White House from 2003 to 2005, cried foul, suggesting that the FBI may have written the contract to avoid having to disclose the vulnerability.

Asked if this was the case, Courtney said he was not privy to those contracting discussions. He said the lack of details surrounding the contract was not unusual given the classified work, and added that the episode had not created any friction with other contractors.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.