Virtual Case File again delayed

The FBI's case management system has been delayed again and will not be deployed by the end of the year, FBI officials said.

FBI officials did not immediately comment on the cause of the latest delay of the Virtual Case File System, which is now more than a year behind the original schedule. In May, the FBI's chief information officer Zalmai Azmi said some capabilities of the new system would be in place by the end of the year, several months after the previous mid-summer deadline.

FBI officials also did not give a new target implementation date for the system, which is being developed by Science Applications International Corp. Once in place, the Virtual Case File, the final piece of the bureau's Trilogy modernization program, will allow agents to search, analyze and compile case information and will replace many applications now developed and in use by agents.

"While the FBI continues testing of the VCF to work through some of the remaining issues, it is also moving forward both with re-engineering efforts to improve workforce efficiency, and with [information technology] improvements," FBI officials said in a statement.

FBI officials said they are taking advantage of the IT improvements completed thus far, such as new networks, hardware and software applications.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department's inspector general found that SAIC delivered a version of VCF by the original December 2003 deadline, but FBI officials rejected it because it wasn't fully functional. Azmi also said that FBI officials are currently renegotiating the terms of the contract with SAIC and the new deal would include a cost-sharing provision if the work is not done on time.

SAIC officials deferred to the FBI program managers for comment on the delays.

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