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FBI Computer System Operational After Delays, Cost Overruns

The FBI’s new computer system for managing cases, $26 million over budget and first scheduled to be in place at the end of 2009, became operational this month.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation system, called Sentinel, now serves as the bureau’s records repository and provides agents and analysts with a Web-based system to manage evidence and automate the review of documents, the agency said today.

The project was announced in 2006 at an estimated total cost of $425 million to replace the agency’s paper-based files. It was originally scheduled to be in place more than two years ago.

More than 30,000 FBI employees have used the system since the bureau officially made the switch on July 1, the bureau said today. The final amount allocated for the project was $451 million.

After multiple critical reports from the Justice Department’s inspector general, delays and cost overruns, the agency reduced the role of contractors involved in the development process and took full control in 2010.

The bureau demonstrated Sentinel for reporters at FBI headquarters in Washington today.

The Justice Department’s inspector general in December released a report outlining concerns over costs, effectiveness and schedule delays. It was the inspector general’s eighth report on the project.

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