Statement of

Glenn A. Fine
Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice

before the

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary


"Information Technology in the Federal Bureau of Investigation"

March 23, 2004

* * * * *

Mr. Chairman, Senator Hollings, and Members of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary:


    I appreciate the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee as it examines the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) fiscal year (FY) 2005 budget request. I have been asked to speak about the FBI's progress in modernizing its information technology (IT) systems, specifically its agency-wide IT modernization project known as Trilogy. Within the past two years, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has issued several reports that examined IT-related issues at the FBI, including the FBI's responsiveness to previous OIG recommendations dealing with IT issues and a review of the FBI's IT Investment Management process. As part of the latter review, issued in December 2002, we examined the FBI's implementation of Trilogy. In addition, last month we opened a new audit that is currently examining the overall management of the Trilogy project and the extent to which Trilogy will meet the FBI's current and longer-term IT requirements.

    Our overall assessment is that the FBI has had a difficult time trying to modernize its information technology systems, and has experienced a series of delays, missed deadlines, and cost increases. However, at this juncture, the completion of Trilogy is in sight. Director Mueller has made Trilogy a priority and has focused personal attention on this project, to his credit. Although more progress is needed on Trilogy's user applications, particularly the Virtual Case File, once completed Trilogy will significantly enhance the FBI's ability to manage its cases and share information.

    Trilogy and the first version of the Virtual Case File system are just the start of the FBI's information technology modernization effort. In the years ahead, the FBI will need to focus even greater attention to ensure that it implements state-of-the-art information technology to allow its employees to effectively perform their critical mission.

    In the first section of my statement, I will provide a brief overview of the Trilogy project, describe the history of the FBI's progress in developing Trilogy, and summarize the OIG's preliminary assessment of the reasons for the delays in its implementation. In the next section, I will discuss the results of other, recent OIG reviews of the FBI's IT management process. I will conclude the statement by providing a brief overview of recently completed and ongoing OIG reviews that examine other important FBI issues that may be useful to this Committee.


    1. Overview

      Trilogy is the largest of the FBI's IT projects and has been recognized by the FBI and Congress as essential to modernizing the FBI's archaic and inadequate computer systems. One component of Trilogy, the Virtual Case File, will replace one of the FBI's inadequate database systems, the Automated Case Support (ACS) system, which is used as a case tracking system. Among its many shortcomings, ACS does not permit FBI agents, analysts, and managers to readily access and share case-related information throughout the FBI. Without this capability, the FBI cannot efficiently investigate criminal cases, analyze intelligence information, and bring together all of the investigative information in the FBI's possession to help prevent future terrorist attacks.

      The Trilogy project has three main components:

      • Information Presentation Component (IPC) - intended to upgrade the FBI's hardware and software;

      • Transportation Network Component (TNC) - intended to upgrade the FBI's communication networks; and

      • User Applications Component (UAC) - intended to upgrade and consolidate the FBI's five most important investigative applications.

      The first two components of Trilogy provide the infrastructure needed to run the FBI's various user applications. The User Application component of Trilogy will upgrade and consolidate the FBI's investigative applications, beginning with the five most critical. However, it is important to note that Trilogy will not replace the 37 other less-critical investigative applications or the FBI's approximately 160 other non-investigative applications. Rather, Trilogy is intended to lay the foundation so that future enhancements will allow the FBI to achieve a state-of-the-art IT system that integrates all of the agency's investigative and non-investigative applications.

    2. Project Schedule and Costs

      In the last several years, the FBI's Trilogy project has suffered a continuing series of missed completion estimates and associated cost growth. In November 2000, Congress appropriated $100.7 million for the initial year of what was estimated to be a 3-year, $379.8 million project. The FBI hired DynCorp in May 2001 (in March 2003, DynCorp was merged into Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)) as the contractor for the IPC/TNC infrastructure components of Trilogy. At that time, the scheduled completion date for the Trilogy infrastructure was May 2004. In June 2001, the FBI hired Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to complete the user applications component of Trilogy - including the Virtual Case File - with a scheduled completion date of June 2004.

      1. Infrastructure Components

        A stable schedule for Trilogy was never firmly established for much of the project's history. Beginning in 2002, the FBI's estimated dates for completing the Trilogy project components began to swing back and forth and were revised repeatedly. The FBI moved up the completion date for deploying the Trilogy infrastructure to June 2003 from the original date of May 2004 because the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had increased the urgency of completing Trilogy. Later, the FBI said the infrastructure would be completed by December 31, 2002. In February 2002, the FBI informed Congress that with an additional $70 million, the FBI could accelerate the deployment of Trilogy. According to the FBI, this acceleration would include completion of the two infrastructure components by July 2002 and rapid deployment of the most critical analytical tools in the user applications component. Congress therefore supplemented the FBI's FY 2002 Trilogy budget by $78 million, for a total of $458 million, to accelerate the completion of all three components.

        The promised milestone for completing the infrastructure components slipped from July 2002 to October 2002 and then to March 2003. On March 28, 2003, CSC completed the Wide Area Network for Trilogy. In April 2003, Director Mueller reported to Congress that more than 21,000 new desktop computers and nearly 5,000 printers and scanners had been deployed. He also reported that the Trilogy Wide Area Network - with increased bandwidth and three layers of security - had been deployed to 622 sites. While this deployment improved the hardware available to FBI staff, it provided no new software capability.

        In April 2003, the FBI and CSC agreed to a statement of work for the remaining infrastructure components of Trilogy, including servers, upgraded software, e-mail capability, and other computer hardware, with final engineering change proposals and a completion date of October 31, 2003. In August 2003, CSC informed the FBI that the October 2003 completion date would slip another two months to December 2003. In October 2003, CSC and the FBI agreed that the December 2003 date again would slip.

        The General Services Administration's Federal Systems Integration and Management Center, known as FEDSIM, competes, awards, and manages contracts for its federal agency clients. FEDSIM had used its Millennia contracting vehicle to award contracts for Trilogy on behalf of the FBI. In November 2003, the General Services Administration formally announced that CSC failed to meet the deadline for completing work on the infrastructure portions of Trilogy that are required to support the user applications, including the Virtual Case File.

        On December 4, 2003, CSC signed a commitment letter agreeing to complete its infrastructure portions of the Trilogy project by April 30, 2004, for an additional $22.9 million, including an award fee of over $4 million. An award fee is used when the government wants to motivate a contractor with financial incentives. The FBI covered these additional costs by reprogramming funds from other FBI appropriations. In January 2004, the FBI converted the agreement with CSC to a revised statement of work providing for loss of the award fee if the April 30, 2004, deadline is not met. In addition, the revised statement of work provides for cost sharing at a rate of 50 percent for any work remaining after the April 30 deadline.

        As of early March 2004, CSC was in the process of installing in the FBI's field offices the remaining computer hardware infrastructure needed to use the previously deployed Wide Area Network. If completed by April 30, 2004, the original target set in 2001 for the infrastructure components of Trilogy will be met, but the accelerated schedule funded by Congress will be missed by some 22 months.

        Senior FBI IT managers recently told OIG auditors that the infrastructure components appear to be on target for meeting the latest milestone of April 30, 2004, although they cautioned that there is a risk of missing this latest deadline because the schedule is ambitious and there is no slack time. However, other FBI officials involved in the project believed that CSC's ability to complete the remaining engineering work by April 30, 2004, is an open question. A contractor recently hired by the FBI's Chief Information Officer to facilitate solutions with the two Trilogy contractors described the April 30 deadline as "a real management challenge."

      2. User Applications

        With respect to development of the Virtual Case File, the first of three system deliveries for the Virtual Case File occurred in December 2003. However, it was not functional and therefore was not accepted by the FBI. FBI officials told our auditors that, as of January 2004, 17 issues of concern pertaining to the functionality and basic design requirements of the Virtual Case File needed to be resolved before the Virtual Case File could be deployed. According to FBI personnel working on the resolution of these problems, the 17 issues were corrected as of March 7, 2004. However, significant work still remains on addressing security aspects and records management issues in the Virtual Case File.

        The FBI is now requiring the contractor, SAIC, to provide a new, realistic completion date and cost estimate for delivery of a usable Virtual Case File. Based on this information, expected within the next week or two, the FBI intends to renegotiate the contract for the user applications component to include firm, verifiable milestones and penalties for missing the milestones.

        The remaining work required to actually deploy a usable and functional initial version of the Virtual Case File appears significant. The Virtual Case File will be installed in stages, with the first stage including the migration of the ACS database. However, our conversations with FBI IT managers suggest uncertainty about the completion dates for each stage. As noted above, the timetable is currently being negotiated with SAIC.

        No one interviewed by our auditors in the FBI, the Department, or the General Services Administration thought the Virtual Case File would be ready when the supporting infrastructure for the system is scheduled to be in place as of April 30, 2004. They said that to speed the delivery of at least a basic functional Virtual Case File system, it is possible that some features initially intended as part of the first delivery of the system will have to be deferred until later. Many FBI managers told us that they are uncertain whether a functional, complete version of the VCF will be deployed before the end of calendar year 2004.

    3. Trilogy Cost

      In addition to frequent schedule slippages, Trilogy costs have grown considerably. To accelerate the project, the original estimated project cost of $380 million increased by $78 million to $458 million. Through reprogramming and other funding in FY 2003, the currently authorized total funding level is $581 million. According to an FBI report, as of January 2004 the remaining available funds were about $12 million. As of March 19, 2004, the FBI's Chief Information Officer believed that current funding appears to be adequate to complete Trilogy. However, in our view, until the user applications contractor provides an updated cost estimate, it will be difficult to gauge the approximate total cost of the Trilogy project, particularly since enhanced versions are planned sometime after the initial deployment.

      Further, the FBI's ability to track Trilogy costs adequately was questioned by a March 3, 2004, FBI inspection report. The report recognized internal control weaknesses and said that Trilogy-related financial records are fragmented and decentralized with no single point of accountability. Because the FBI's Financial Management System does not capture detailed Trilogy-related expenditures, FBI auditors could not ascertain a "global financial profile" of Trilogy.

    4. Problems in Trilogy's Development

      Based on the OIG's previous audit work that examined the FBI's IT management process, together with the preliminary results of our ongoing audit of Trilogy, we believe the reasons for the delays and associated increased costs in the Trilogy project include:

      • lack of firm milestones and penalties for missing milestones;

      • lack of a qualified project integrator who would manage the interfaces between the two contractors and would have responsibility for the overall integrity of the final product;

      • weak IT investment management structure and processes;

      • until recently, lack of management continuity and oversight due, in part, to the frequent turnover of FBI IT managers and the FBI's focus on its other important law enforcement challenges;

      • poorly-defined requirements that evolved as the project developed; and

      • unrealistic scheduling of tasks by the contractors.

      1. Contract Weaknesses

        The FBI's current and former Acting Chief Information Officers told us that the primary reason for the schedule and cost problems associated with the infrastructure components of Trilogy is a weak statement of work in the contract with CSC. In addition, despite the use of two contractors to provide three major project components, until recently the FBI did not hire a project integrator to manage contractor interfaces and take responsibility for the overall integrity of the final product. According to FBI IT managers, FBI officials acted as the project integrator even though they had no experience to perform such a role.

        According to FBI IT and contract managers, the "cost plus" award fee type of contracts used for Trilogy did not require specific completion milestones, did not include critical decision review points, and did not provide for penalties if the milestones were not met. Under cost plus award fee contracts, the contractors are only required to make their best effort to complete the project. Furthermore, if the FBI does not provide reimbursement for the contractors' costs, under these agreements the contractors can cease work. Consequently, in the view of the FBI managers with whom we spoke, the FBI was largely at the mercy of the contractors.

        FEDSIM representatives explained that a cost-plus contract is used for large projects where the requirements and the costs are not defined sufficiently to allow for a firm fixed-price contract. The FEDSIM's Millennia contracting vehicle currently has nine "industry partners" who are eligible to bid on federal projects. Under Millennia, contracts can be awarded relatively quickly because of the limited number of potential bidders. Because the FBI wanted a quick contract and did not have highly defined requirements, it used the cost plus award fee contract vehicle.

        In our ongoing audit of Trilogy, we plan to evaluate the effect of the contractual terms on the schedule, cost, and performance of the project.

      2. IT Investment Management Weaknesses

        In addition to the lack of controls built into the statements of work for Trilogy, the FBI's investment management process was not well developed. Had the FBI developed a mature IT investment management process, the Trilogy project likely could have been completed more efficiently and timely. The investment management process at the FBI is still in the early stages of development. Absent a mature IT investment process, FBI IT investment efforts are at risk for significant developmental problems.

      3. Management Continuity and Oversight

        Part of the problem acknowledged by the FBI for not acting timely on IT recommendations from the OIG over the years has been the turnover of key FBI managers. Similarly, we believe that turnover in key positions affected the FBI's ability to manage and oversee the Trilogy project.

        Since November 2001, 14 different key IT managers have been involved with the Trilogy project, including 5 Chief Information Officers or Acting Chief Information Officers and 9 individuals serving as project managers for various aspects of Trilogy. This lack of continuity among IT managers contributed to the problems of ensuring the effective and timely implementation of the Trilogy project. According to contractor personnel who are advising the FBI on Trilogy, the FBI also suffered from a lack of engineering expertise, process weaknesses, and decision-making by committees instead of knowledgeable individuals. In the contractors' opinion, weak government contract management has created more of the problem with Trilogy than the terms of the contracts.

        We have spoken to many officials in the FBI, the Department of Justice, and FEDSIM who believe that the FBI has recently improved its management and oversight of Trilogy and of information technology in general. The FBI appears to have hired from other federal agencies and from private industry capable individuals, including the current Acting Chief Information Officer and several key project management personnel. Officials within both the Department of Justice and the FBI now are optimistic that the FBI's current information technology management team has the talent to solve the FBI's problems in this area. We also have been impressed with the quality of the FBI's current managers of Trilogy, including the Acting Chief Information Officer. However, we believe it essential for the FBI to maintain continuity in the management of Trilogy.

      4. Lack of Defined Design Requirements

        One of the most significant problems with managing the schedule and costs of the Trilogy project was the lack of a firm understanding of the design requirements by both the FBI and the contractor. Not only were Trilogy's requirements ill defined and evolving as the project progressed, but certain events triggered the need to change initial design concepts. For example, after September 11, 2001, Director Mueller recognized that the initial concept of simply modifying the old Automated Case Support system would not serve the FBI well over the long run, and the FBI created the plans for the Virtual Case File. Other changes to the design occurred because of the experiences and lessons learned from the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Hanssen espionage case, and the belated production of documents to defense attorneys in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

        However, during the initial years of the project, the FBI had no firm design baseline or roadmap for Trilogy. The FBI also may have overly relied on contractor expertise to help define the requirements, while the contractor may have overly relied on the FBI to provide direction for the Trilogy design.

      5. Unrealistic Scheduling of Tasks

        According to an FBI official monitoring development of the Trilogy infrastructure, CSC has had problems producing an appropriate resource-driven work schedule. Furthermore, SAIC is using a scheduling tool for development of the user applications component with which the FBI is unfamiliar. In our view, unrealistic scheduling of project tasks has led to a series of raised expectations, followed by frustration when the completion estimates were missed. We intend to examine the schedules more closely in our ongoing audit of the Trilogy project.

    5. Prior OIG Audits on FBI IT Investment Management Practices and FBI's Implementation of IT Recommendations

      The problems demonstrated by the Trilogy project were consistent with our concerns about the FBI's IT systems and management process in general. Since 1990, various OIG reports have identified significant deficiencies with the FBI's IT program, including outdated infrastructures, fragmented management, ineffective systems, and inadequate training. Within the past 18 months, the OIG completed two reviews that looked at these and other aspects of the FBI's efforts to modernize its IT systems, one issued in December 2002 and the other issued in September 2003.

      The first audit, issued in December 2002, examined the FBI's IT investment management practices. The OIG found that, in the past, the FBI had not effectively managed its IT investments because it failed to: 1) effectively track and oversee the costs and schedules of IT projects; 2) properly establish and effectively use IT investment boards to review projects; 3) inventory the existing IT systems and projects; 4) identify the business needs for each IT project; and 5) use defined processes to select new IT projects. We concluded that despite efforts to improve its IT management, the FBI had not fully implemented the above five critical processes associated with effective IT investment management. Consequently, the FBI continued to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IT projects without adequate assurance that the projects would meet their intended goals.

      Our audit made eight recommendations with respect to Trilogy, including urging the FBI to establish cost, schedule, technical, and performance baselines and track significant deviations from these baselines, and taking corrective action as necessary. The FBI agreed with all eight of the Trilogy-related recommendations, with one minor exception, and to date has taken corrective action on three.

      In a September 2003 audit, the OIG comprehensively examined the FBI's implementation of the OIG's prior IT-related recommendations. While the FBI had made substantial progress on many of the recommendations, implementing 93 of 148 total recommendations, we concluded that full implementation of the remaining recommendations was needed to ensure that the FBI's IT program effectively supported the FBI's mission.

    6. OIG Conclusions on Trilogy

      In sum, we found various reasons for Trilogy's delays and problems. Initially, the FBI did not have a clear vision of what the FBI's Trilogy modernization project should achieve, let alone specific design requirements, and the contractors were not held to a firm series of achievable milestones. The FBI's investment management process also left it ill equipped to ensure that all three components of Trilogy were developed in an integrated fashion. Moreover, at the outset, the FBI and others did not provide consistent or effective management of Trilogy, leading to technical and scheduling problems.

      The FBI recently appears to have focused attention on addressing much of these weaknesses. Our preliminary assessment is that both the FBI and the Department of Justice now have Chief Information Officers who are committed to a successful implementation of Trilogy, with a no-nonsense approach to managing the Trilogy contracts and a commitment to closely monitor its progress. The FBI also appears to be attempting to ensure that Trilogy is completed as soon as possible, and the General Services Administration also is participating fully in this oversight role. In addition, the Department of Justice Chief Information Officer meets regularly with FBI and GSA staff to oversee progress on Trilogy. However, significant work remains, particularly on the Virtual Case File, which may not be fully implemented by the end of this year. Because of the importance of the Trilogy project, the OIG will continue to monitor the FBI's implementation of Trilogy.


    In addition to these IT reviews, the OIG continues to conduct wide-ranging reviews of other priority issues in the FBI. The following are a few examples of recently completed reviews in the FBI, as well as ongoing OIG reviews, that may be of interest to the Committee.

    1. Recently Completed OIG Reviews

      IDENT/IAFIS: The Batres Case and the Status of the Integration Project - In early March 2004, the OIG issued a special report that examined the status of efforts to integrate IDENT, the Department of Homeland (DHS) Security's automated fingerprint identification database, with IAFIS, the FBI's automated fingerprint identification database. The OIG review described the tragic consequences that can result because these immigration and criminal fingerprint identification systems are not integrated. Victor Manual Batres, an alien who had an extensive criminal history, was caught two times by the Border Patrol attempting to enter the United States illegally. Both times the Border Patrol voluntarily returned him to Mexico without checking his criminal record. He came back into the United States, where he raped and murdered a nun. During this period, the Border Patrol never learned of his extensive criminal history, which should have subjected him to detention and prosecution, partly because IDENT and IAFIS are not linked.

      The OIG has reported extensively on the slow pace of the integration of IDENT and IAFIS in several reports over the past few years. In the Batres report, we noted that according to the Department and DHS timetable provided to us by integration project managers, full integration of the two systems was not scheduled to be completed for many years. Since issuance of our Batres report several weeks ago, DHS leaders have publicly stated that the integration process will be expedited, and that hardware to allow Border Patrol agents to check detained aliens in both IDENT and IAFIS will be provided to Border Patrol stations on an expedited timetable. However, additional issues remain to be resolved, such as access to DHS's immigration databases by the FBI and state and local officials and questions about what fingerprint information will be made available to immigration inspectors at ports of entry.

      The FBI's Efforts to Improve the Sharing of Intelligence and Other Information - A December 2003 OIG audit examined the FBI's efforts to enhance its sharing of intelligence and law enforcement information with federal, state, and local officials. The audit noted that fundamental reform with regard to sharing this information is under way at the FBI. The audit also found that the FBI has taken a series of actions to improve its ability to communicate information within the FBI, analyze intelligence, and disseminate information outside the FBI. However, the OIG audit described continued obstacles to the FBI's reform efforts and cited the need for: 1) improving information technology; 2) improving the FBI's ability to analyze intelligence; 3) overcoming security clearance and other security issues concerning the sharing of information with state and local law enforcement agencies; and 4) establishing policies and procedures for managing the flow of information.

      FBI Casework and Human Resource Allocation - A September 2003 OIG audit examined the FBI's use of resources in its investigative programs over a 7-year period - 6 years prior to September 11, 2001, and 9 months after that date. The audit provided detailed statistics on the FBI's allocation of resources to its ten program areas during this period. It also examined the FBI's planned allocation of resources during this same period compared to the actual allocation of resources. In addition, the OIG audit detailed the types and numbers of cases the FBI investigated in these program areas. Using data from the FBI's systems, the OIG found that although the FBI had identified combating terrorism as its top priority in 1998, until the September 11 attacks it devoted significantly more of its agent resources to traditional law enforcement activities, such as white-collar crime, organized crime, drug, and violent crime investigations, than to its counterterrorism programs.

      In a current follow-up review examining the FBI's use of resources, the OIG is examining in greater detail the operational changes in the FBI resulting from this ongoing reprioritization effort, including the types of offenses that the FBI is no longer investigating at pre-September 11 levels and the changes in the types of cases worked at individual field offices. After completing this follow-up review, the OIG plans to open an additional audit to obtain feedback from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies regarding the impact of the FBI's reprioritization on their operations.

      Review of the FBI's Performance in Deterring, Detecting, and Investigating the Espionage Activities of Robert Philip Hanssen - In a comprehensive special report released in August 2003, the OIG examined the FBI's efforts to detect, deter, and investigate the espionage of Robert Hanssen, the most damaging spy in FBI history. The OIG review concluded that Hanssen escaped detection not because he was extraordinarily clever and crafty in his espionage, but because of long-standing systemic problems in the FBI's counterintelligence program and a deeply flawed FBI internal security program. The review also found that the FBI has taken important steps to improve its internal security program since Hanssen's arrest, including the implementation of a counterintelligence-focused polygraph examination program, development of a financial disclosure program, and creation of a Security Division. However, the OIG review concluded that some of the most serious weaknesses still had not been remedied fully. The OIG is continuing to monitor the FBI's response to the recommendations in this report.

    2. Ongoing Reviews

      In addition to these recently issued reports, the OIG has additional reviews under way that are examining other critical issues in the FBI. Examples of these ongoing reviews include the following.

      Terrorist Screening Center - On September 16, 2003, the President established the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) to consolidate terrorist watch lists and provide 24/7 operational support for thousands of federal officers who need access to such watch lists. The FBI was assigned responsibility to administer the TSC and is working with the DHS, the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other agencies to make the TSC operational. Last week, the OIG initiated an audit to examine whether the TSC: 1) has implemented a viable strategy for accomplishing its mission; 2) is effectively coordinating with participating agencies; and 3) is appropriately managing the terrorist-related information to ensure that a complete, accurate, and current watch list is developed and maintained.

      Attorney General Guidelines - In May 2002, the Attorney General issued revised guidelines that govern general crimes and criminal intelligence investigations. The OIG review is examining the FBI's implementation of the four sets of guidelines: Attorney General's Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants; Attorney General's Guidelines on FBI Undercover Operations; Attorney General's Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations; and Revised Department of Justice Procedures for Lawful, Warrantless Monitoring of Verbal Communications. The OIG review seeks to determine what steps the FBI has taken to implement the Guidelines, examine how effective those steps have been, and assess the FBI's compliance with key provisions of the Guidelines.

      Terrorism Task Forces - The OIG is examining how the law enforcement and intelligence functions of the Department's Terrorism Task Forces support their efforts to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorism. The review is specifically evaluating the purpose, priorities, membership, functions, lines of authority, and accomplishments for the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces, National Joint Terrorism Task Force, Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, the United States Attorneys' Offices' Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils, and the Deputy Attorney General's National Security Coordination Council

      DNA Laboratory - The OIG is completing a review that examines the failure of a former technician in the FBI Laboratory DNA Analysis Unit to complete steps designed to detect contamination in the analysis process. In addition, with the assistance of nationally known DNA scientists, the OIG is completing a broader assessment of the DNA Analysis Unit to determine if vulnerabilities exist in its DNA protocols and procedures.

      Language Translation Services - The OIG is reviewing the FBI's language translation services program in light of the FBI's efforts after the September 11 terrorist attacks to hire linguists and to use technology to handle the increasing backlog of counterterrorism and foreign counterintelligence translation work. The OIG review will examine the extent and causes of any FBI translation backlog; assess the FBI's efforts to hire additional translators; and evaluate whether FBI procedures ensure appropriate prioritization of work, accurate and timely translations of pertinent information, and proper security of sensitive information.

      Intelligence Analysts - One of the FBI's primary initiatives after the September 11 terrorist attacks was to enhance the FBI's analytical ability and intelligence capabilities. An OIG audit is examining how the FBI hires, trains, and staffs the various categories of FBI intelligence analysts. The OIG is reviewing the FBI's progress toward meeting hiring, retention, and training goals as well as how analysts are used to support the FBI's counterterrorism mission.

      Legal Attaché Program - The FBI's overseas operations have expanded significantly in the last decade. The FBI operates offices known as Legal Attaché or Legats in 46 locations around the world. The primary mission of Legats is to support FBI investigative interests by establishing liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies. Through interviews and visits to several Legats, an OIG review is examining the type of activities performed by Legats, the effectiveness of Legats in establishing liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies and coordinating activities with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies overseas, the criteria used by the FBI to determine the placement of Legat offices, and the process used for selecting and training FBI personnel for Legat positions.

      Smith/Leung Case - At the request of FBI Director Mueller, the OIG is conducting a review of the FBI's performance in connection with former FBI Supervisory Special Agent James J. Smith, who recently was charged with gross negligence in his handling of national defense information. The OIG's review will examine Smith's career at the FBI and his relationship with Katrina Leung, an asset in the FBI's Chinese counterintelligence program with whom Smith allegedly had a long-term intimate relationship. The OIG also will examine a variety of performance and management issues related to the Smith/Leung case.


    The FBI is making significant strides in reevaluating and reengineering many of its historic processes and procedures. Central to this transformation is the FBI's critical need to modernize its archaic IT systems. Development and deployment of the Trilogy system - the centerpiece of the agency's IT modernization project - has until recently been frustratingly delayed and costly. The delays have left FBI managers, agents, analysts, and other employees without the modern tools they need. Considering the antiquated information technology environment in which they have had to operate for many years, FBI employees deserve much credit for what they have been able to accomplish.

    Trilogy, when it is finally implemented, will greatly enhance the FBI's information technology capabilities. Much of the Trilogy upgrade is nearing completion, although the Virtual Case File still needs significant effort. However, implementation of Trilogy will not signal the end of the FBI's information technology modernization effort. The project will lay the foundation for future information technology advancements, but constant effort will be needed to ensure that the FBI implements and maintains cutting edge technology that permits its employees to effectively process and share information. This must remain a critical priority for the FBI. The FBI needs to provide sustained and careful management of the continuing upgrades to ensure that FBI employees have the tools they need to perform their mission. The FBI's ability to perform its functions effectively, including counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal law enforcement, depends to a large degree on the success of the FBI's information technology projects. Given the importance of this issue, the OIG will continue to review and monitor the FBI's progress in these efforts.