FBI trains on Trilogy

Through a traveling road show, FBI officials are offering basic computer skills training and demonstrating the bureau's new case file system to agents in the field.

With the launch of the virtual case file system — the final piece of FBI's Trilogy modernization program — many field agents are concerned about bringing in a new automated process for case file management, said Larry DePew, project manager for Virtual Case File and investigative data warehouse. The new system will replace the current five green-screen based applications into a single Web-based system for searching, analyzing and compiling case information.

But with extensive outreach and training, officials hope to ensure that when the project finally launches and changes the bureau's business processes, agents will know what to do.

"They're nervous, [but] generally, the FBI is looking forward to getting this out," DePew said. "We've built the application to mimic our current workflow. It's familiar."

DePew was part of panel speaking today at an event sponsored by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.

The first phase of training involved basic computer literacy refresher course, which roughly 3,000 of the 33,000 employees have opted to take, DePew said. The second phase involves introducing the Virtual Case File system to agents and letting them play with it and practice. Then it will be deployed.

Officials have also trained what they called power users — or experts on the system in each field office to assist other agents and hold classes on the new system.

Agent outreach has been a cornerstone of Trilogy's development, and agents representing each field office have been involved in the design. Those agents are also involved in the road show, which includes background on the project, a demonstration, training and management of user expectations, said John Robertson, an FBI agent working on DePew's team.

"We can relate the newer applications to what's currently being done," Robertson said, also speaking on the panel. "We relate the new business practice to the old business practice to alleviate the trepidation."

The final phase was slated to be completed by mid-December but pushed back due to delays in work by contractor Computer Sciences Corp. FBI's Trilogy project manager executive Sherry Higgins, leading the panel discussion, declined to discuss details about a new deadline for the launch or progress toward the completion.

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