A new FBI computer program designed to help agents share information to ward off terrorist attacks may have to be abandoned, the Los Angeles Times reports. The action would mark another delay in a four-year, half-billion-dollar overhaul of the FBI’s antiquated computer system. The bureau is so convinced that the “Virtual Case File” will not work that it has taken steps to begin soliciting proposals from outside contractors for new software.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Congress has given the FBI a blank check, allocating billions of dollars in additional funding. So far the overhaul has cost $581 million; the software problems are expected to set off a debate over how well the bureau has been spending those dollars. “It would be a stunning reversal of progress,” Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the FBI, told the Times. “If the software has failed … that sets us back a long way.