FBI gives CIO budget power

All proposals for information technology spending at the FBI must now go through the bureau's chief information officer, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Friday.

"No funds are going to be disbursed in the IT arena without the CIO's approval," Mueller said during a press briefing. The chief information officer is "responsible for knowing where the computers are and is responsible for maintaining the computers, so that in San Francisco you cannot build your own program without the approval of the CIO."

Few CIOs have budget authority over IT system spending. More typically, chief financial officers maintain control over agency IT spending.

FBI officials called today's briefing to discuss its new directorate of intelligence, which will integrate the bureau's previously separate law enforcement and intelligence operations. "It's not something that you can build overnight," Mueller said. "It is something that is going to be built over a period of time."

Software responsible for automatically deleting untranslated audio files collected for counterterrorism analysis has been fixed, Mueller said. The problem was first revealed last September in a redacted inspector general report. The backlog of more than 120,000 hours of untranslated recordings has also been reduced to a minimum, Mueller added.

In response to a question about a recent hacker attack on commercial e-mail system that hosted FBI.gov accounts, Mueller said a bureau investigation is ongoing. "Any organization has incidents that affects its IT," he added.

E-mail messages sent via the FBI.gov domain are limited to unclassified and unsecured communications "and do not impact secure internal and external FBI e-mail accounts," an FBI statement said at the time.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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