FBI Solicits Bids for New Data Management System

A select group of about 45 IT companies received a request for proposal from the FBI last week to deploy Sentinel, the bureau's next-generation data management project.

A select group of about 45 IT companies received a request for proposal from the FBI last week to deploy Sentinel, the bureaus next-generation data management project. The new system, whose cost was not disclosed, will replace Virtual Case File, which the bureau canceled in March following an audit that turned up poor management and oversight as well as bad investments.

The objectives of Sentinel are to consolidate the FBIs old case management technologies into an integrated, paperless system and improve collaboration with the CIA and with other law enforcement agencies. The RFPs and requirements for Sentinel are not available for the public to view, an FBI spokesperson said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about the FBIs re-evaluation of a controversial e-mail snooping system.

The requests went to a pool of vendors chosen in 2000 to participate in a governmentwide IT contract, called CIO-SP2i, administered by the National Institutes of Health, an NIH contracting officer said.

The pool includes the biggest names in IT, such as Accenture Ltd., Computer Sciences Corp., General Dynamics Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. Science Applications International Corp., which was the prime contractor for the failed $170 million VCF project, also participates in the CIO-SP2i contract.

Unlike VCF, Sentinel will allow the gradual deployment of new functions through four phases, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, who testified before Congress on the project in May.

The full implementation could take up to four years, beginning later this year, and will replace several case management systems, including the Criminal Informant Management System and the Bank Robbery Statistical Application and Financial Institution Fraud systems.

Each phase will introduce new functions that can be used incrementally, such as automated workflow, search capabilities, records and case management, and reporting protocols, according to the bureau. To promote internal and external information sharing, the system will support XML standards.

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