"Sentinel will strengthen the FBIs capabilities by replacing its primarily paper-based reporting system with an electronic system designed for information sharing," said Robert Mueller, FBI director. "Sentinel will support our current priorities, including our No. 1 priority: preventing terrorist attacks."
The project replaces the $170 million failed Virtual Case File initiative, which the bureau scrapped in March 2005 after it was shown to suffer from poor management, poor oversight and a lack of mature IT investment processes.
It is estimated that the development of Sentinel will cost $425 million over six years, including independent validation and verification, which will be conducted by another contractor. The goal is to provide a Web-enabled case management system that includes records management, workflow management, evidence management, and records search and reporting capabilities. The project will be deployed in four phases.
Well before selecting the primary contractor for Sentinel, the FBI fell behind in crafting required security and validation plans for the new system. Auditors in the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General raised concerns earlier this month that Sentinel was lacking in oversight documentation, cost-tracking and cost-control, among other things.
Auditors found that the IT investment management process for Sentinel appeared to be sound, but the FBI was behind on completing the required system security plan and Independent Verification and Validation plan. The project proceeded without the plans because they required detailed project design information from the yet-to-be-named vendor, and a separate contract for the IV&V plan, according to the FBI.