FBI's Trilogy program moves into overdrive
Project will bring multimedia case files to agents' desktops
- By Wilson P. Dizard III
- Jan 18, 2002
'I bring a knowledge of what needs to be delivered [by the Trilogy modernization] to support the mission.''Mark A. Tanner
After the Sept. 11 attacks, FBI leaders put the Trilogy program'the $379 million project to overhaul the agency's information backbone'into overdrive.
Bureau officials originally aimed for October 2003 to complete the project, but the accelerated schedule now sets December 2002 as the expected completion date.
The infrastructure portion of the program, which is being carried out by Dyncorp of Reston, Va., under a $51 million contract awarded in May, now is set to be completed by December, said Special Agent Mark A. Tanner, the FBI's information resources manager and the head of the modernization project.
Trilogy's infrastructure segment will cover 'the transportation network and information presentation component,' Tanner said.
Among the hardware the project will bring to the FBI are new workstations and servers.Some dates unclear
Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego received a $10 million contract to enhance legacy applications and databases in June. The schedule for completion of this portion of the Trilogy project remains unclear.
'The user application component was a little more difficult to expedite so we are still working' on speeding it up, Tanner said.
The project acceleration won't increase Trilogy's costs, he said.
Tanner brings years of field experience to his systems post, so he knows what FBI agents need from Trilogy, he said.
An 18-year bureau veteran who has held his IT management post for four and a half years, Tanner said his main contribution to the project is his criminal investigative experience. 'I bring a knowledge of what needs to be delivered to support the mission,' he said.
He proudly displays souvenir nameplates in his office from his days fighting the drug trade along the Mexican border.
The Trilogy project is designed to 'lay the foundation'whether it be the networks or the software, the hardware, the user interfaces'for bringing FBI agents into the modern era,' FBI director Robert S. Mueller III said in testimony at his confirmation hearings last year.
As the FBI implements Trilogy, it will shift from a mainframe architecture to a Web architecture, Tanner said.Data mining
The changes mainly will affect the FBI's primary investigative applications: the automated case support system; the integrated intelligence application; the criminal law enforcement system; the bureau's telephone application; and Intel Plus, a document management system for criminal investigations.
Once completed, Trilogy will deliver multimedia electronic case files to FBI agents' desks. According to Tanner, about half the bureau's documents now come in from external sources such as other law enforcement agencies and are not scanned.
Eventually, with the multimedia case files and linked databases, FBI officials will be able to conduct data mining operations to detect patterns in the volume of information they collect.