The latest effort to overhaul the FBI’s antiquated computer system is short $57 million, says a Justice Department inspector general’s report quoted by the New York Times. The budget gap could force the FBI to take money from other areas. The report concluded that while the bureau had taken steps that provided a “reasonable assurance” of success, crucial financing and operational questions lingered. The FBI has struggled for more than a decade to replace a record-keeping system that is still largely paper-driven – a critical task for strengthening antiterrorism operations. Design and management problems last year forced the bureau to scrap the final phase of its case-automation system, known as Trilogy, after spending $170 million on it.
Democrats will press FBI director Robert S. Mueller III on the issue when he appears tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The American people cannot afford another fiasco,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) In March, the FBI awarded the latest version of the project to Lockheed Martin. The company's part of the project, known as Sentinel, has an estimated value of $305 million.