FBI CIO takes control

The FBI's new chief information officer now has bureauwide control over technology investments and is building the program management functions of the office.

Zalmai Azmi, named the CIO this week, said he is addressing concerns about poor information technology management within the bureau by centralizing project investments in his office. Azmi, who has served as the acting CIO since January, met with reporters at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., today.

"I have it," Azmi said of IT management across the entire bureau. "All IT projects and investments must go through me."

Azmi said he sent an electronic memo to all field offices in February or March alerting officials of the investment changes. The note was issued about the same time as a General Accounting Office, which detailed a lack of central IT leadership and the need to implement investment controls.

Azmi said he working to build the Office of the CIO to include program management capabilities and project operations and maintenance. He is currently using resources from the Information Resources Division and other areas within the bureau while officially expanding the CIO's capabilities.

Another priority for the CIO is developing an enterprise architecture, an area also criticized by GAO. FBI officials awarded a contract last month to BearingPoint Inc. to help the bureau complete an initial version of the architecture, Azmi said. The first version, an as-is model, will be competed by the end of the year, he said. Components within the bureau have developed their own enterprise architectures that must fit into the bureauwide framework, he said, making the development more complicated.

The Trilogy modernization program tends to get the most focus, but there are many more initiatives underway at the FBI, Azmi said. For example, officials are building a security clearance tracking system to manage the varying levels of clearances held by FBI agents. Officials are also embarking on a portfolio management effort to determine what systems and applications the bureau has and then bring them together under one management umbrella.

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