Justice, FBI to overhaul fingerprint and case management systems
- By Wilson P. Dizard III
- Aug 26, 2005
The FBI and the Justice Department, with two new acquisitions, are trying to create harmony among dissonant federal fingerprint systems and a cacophony of Justice case management systems.
The overhauls to major systems are years away from having an impact, but both are gaining momentum with the pending release of requests for proposals.
The FBI program, known as the Next Generation Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, is the larger and less mature acquisition and calls for several major improvements in IAFIS' features, such as the existing interstate mugshot transfer application.
Meanwhile, the Justice Management Division is preparing to kick off its Litigation Case Management System acquisition with an industry day in mid-September, according to Federal Sources Inc., a market research firm in McLean, Va.
Justice already has issued a draft statement of work stating that LCMS will be deployed to the 94 U.S. Attorneys Offices and the six major departmental offices at headquarters that carry out litigation.
Both programs are designed to help Justice and the FBI improve their information sharing within the department and across law enforcement agencies.
The FBI project calls for the selected vendor to design, build and maintain the new system. Industry estimates of the value of the contract range up to $200 million. FSI estimated Next Generation IAFIS at $75 million.
The FBI is running the procurement out of its IT contracts unit in Clarksburg, W.Va., which renewed Lockheed Martin Corp.'s existing omnibus contract to run IAFIS for one year with five option years, according to contracting office officials.
IAFIS is closely related to the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology's IDENT project (see Page 28).
Accenture Ltd. runs IDENT via its Smart Border Alliance team of contractors that is carrying out the U.S. Visit program.
Some fingerprint information from IAFIS now flows to IDENT. As DHS implements Secretary Michael Chertoff's directive to collect 10 fingerprints from travelers rather than the two-fingerprint approach IDENT currently uses, IDENT and IAFIS will gain additional compatibility.
The FBI already has begun a study of technologies for Next Generation IAFIS, according to the Clarksburg contracting office.
Industry business development sources suggested that the bureau would not award a contract under Next Generation IAFIS until at least October 2006, partly because Lockheed Martin's contract will continue through September 2006.
One FBI official said, 'The bureau would like to have it in place it sooner than that. They have identified some significant opportunities to improve services, and there is a client community that wants the services.'
The FBI technology official noted that the IAFIS fingerprint matching system now has reached an accuracy of about 98 percent, but because it processes about 17 million fingerprints annually, the two percent rate of incorrect matches is a significant number.
Another capability that Next Generation IAFIS would provide is a 'rapback' function. The rapback function would be used when, for example, a teacher provides fingerprints during the hiring process. IAFIS would not only check those fingerprints, but also provide ongoing updates back to the school system about any future violations associated with those fingerprints and, presumably, that teacher.
'The military is also very interested in the rapback capability,' the FBI official said.
A consolidated litigation case management system also would draw interest from around the government. Justice runs several litigation case man- agement systems at headquarters.
In addition, each of the U.S. Attorneys Offices nationwide has adopted systems that have been modified at the direction of the local U.S. Attorney. As a result, Justice now has dozens of case management systems, possibly more than 100, with limited or no ability to exchange information, ac- cording to the department.
Moreover, according to Justice CIO Vance Hitch and other officials, there is no agreement on what a case is.
LCMS would bring order to this Babel of case management systems and be distinct from the FBI's Sentinel project to build an investigative case management system.
LCMS also would be distinct from the department's long-term initiative to build an ad- ministrative case management system.
According to Justice, LCMS would be the first project commissioned under the Case Management Line of Business initiative, which is part of the LOB consolidation efforts headed up by the Office of Management and Budget.
Justice has announced it plans to receive proposals for LCMS in late November and award a contract next March.
FSI estimates the value of the LCMS contract at $15 million.
FBI and Justice officials were unavailable for comment.