The FBI Sentinel Project

The FBI Sentinel Project

Leah Olszewski (Troy University, USA) and Stephen C. Wingreen (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2011070105
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In 2000, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated its Trilogy program in order to upgrade FBI infrastructure technologies, address national security concerns, and provide agents and analysts greater investigative abilities through creation of an FBI-wide network and improved user applications. Lacking an appropriate enterprise architecture foundation, IT expertise, and management skills, the FBI cancelled further development of Trilogy Phase 3, Virtual Case File (VCF), with prime contractor SAIC after numerous delays and increasing costs. The FBI began development of Sentinel in 2006 through Lockheed Martin. Unlike in the case of Trilogy, the FBI decided to implement a service-oriented architecture (SOA) provided in part by commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components, clarify contracts and requirements, increase its use of metrics and oversight through the life of the project, and employ IT personnel differently in order to meet Sentinel objectives. Although Lockheed Martin was eventually released from their role in the project due to inadequate performance, the project is still moving forward on account of the use of best practices. The case highlights key events in both VCF and Sentinel development and demonstrates the FBI’s IT transformation over the past four years.

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