Exec tapped to head eFBI

The FBI has named Bob Dies assistant director to oversee the design and

launch of eFBI, a recently renamed and resurrected program that will give

bureau agents the ability to share and sift through data via the World Wide

Web.

Dies recently retired as the general manager of IBM Corp.'s Network and

Personal Computer Division. As a 20-year executive with the company, he

was involved in product development and services, management and organizational

restructuring on an international level, according to an FBI announcement.

"Bob Dies is the right man at the right time for perhaps the toughest job

in the FBI today," said bureau Director Louis Freeh in a statement released

last week.

Dies will manage the bureau's Information Resources Division, which

is responsible for maintaining, upgrading and developing the agency's information

and communication systems, computer networks and records.

Dies joins the bureau at a critical time, according to Freeh. The agency

has to modernize its information systems at the same time it wrestles with

crimes committed with rapidly changing information technologies, he said.

An earlier program, called the Information Sharing Initiative, stalled

in Congress when representatives balked at approving the project, estimated

to cost $430 million, because of past FBI mismanaged computer programs that

ran into major cost overruns.

The successor program is eFBI, which has a lower cost and a different

vision. Whereas the initial program relied on legacy telephone systems,

eFBI will operate via the Web and should cost about a quarter of what the

Information Sharing Initiative would have cost, officials have said.

Officials declined to describe how eFBI would operate, saying only that

a plan has been submitted and is under review.

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