FBI works to keep data systems current

The FBI has launched a five-year, $200 million program to upgrade systems at the Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, W.Va.

The division operates several national crime data systems, including the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Uniform Crime Reporting System and National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Michael Kirkpatrick, assistant director of the division, said the technology refreshment project would progress in three phases: a functional refreshment to satisfy the new requirements of the division's users in the law enforcement and criminal justice community; a resource refreshment to move to new technology; and a equipment refreshment to replace outdated gear that manufacturers no longer support.

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s IT division in Seabrook, Md., will lead the technology refreshment project.

The contract has a one-year base and four option years, officials said, and the initial value of the contract is $56 million.

Lockheed Martin already is the prime contractor for operation and maintenance service for the Justice division.

'To me, this is important because previously we did not have a formal multiyear plan that would keep our systems up-to-date so we can service our customers in an exceptional manner,' Kirkpatrick said.

The division earns approximately $150 million annually for providing fingerprint and background checks to the law enforcement community and others, he said. Congress provides additional funds.

Some outside funds will help defray the costs of the technology refreshment program, Kirkpatrick said.

'One of the things we are going to look at is how we can make our services available to law enforcement customers as well as the public over the Internet,' he said. 'The Internet is not going to be appropriate for everything but we think we can use it for some purposes.'

Open for viewing

The division operates a fiber-optic WAN that connects its law enforcement customers across the country.

'The type of information that would be publicly available on the Internet would be totally unclassified,' Kirkpatrick said. 'The majority of the information here is at the sensitive but unclassified level.'

The division's uniform crime reporting information is unclassified, he said. 'The Internet would be a good way for police departments to submit that information and for the public to access it.'

Systems specialist Joseph Mazzie said one project under the technology refreshment program would be to replace 32 Hewlett-Packard Exemplar Unix servers that now match fingerprints with 14 higher-capacity HP Superdome Unix servers.

Another job will be migrating the division's three IBM Corp. mainframes to two faster mainframes, which will double the speed of the mainframe installation from 400 million instructions per second to 800 MIPS, Mazzie said.

The division also plans to replace 32 existing HP RAID storage devices linked to the Exemplar servers with four higher-capacity HP RAID storage systems.

'We are definitely standardizing on Unix,' Mazzie said. The IAFIS mainframe will use IBM's DB2 database management system running under MVS, he said.

The division will standardize its backup and restoration processes using tape technology from Storage Technology Corp. of Louisville, Colo. 'We can get 60 gigabytes on one tape,' Mazzie said.

The oldest of the systems that the division plans to replace came online in November 1998, Kirkpatrick said, while the rest began operating in July 1999.

The technology refreshment project follows previous upgrades aimed at eliminating delays caused by the addition of interfaces with other systems.

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