Justice, FBI to spur information sharing

The FBI and the Justice Department plan to accelerate their efforts to consolidate systems and improve sharing of information needed for criminal investigations and prosecutions by launching two major IT projects.

The FBI project, known as Next Generation IAFIS, is aimed at upgrading the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System run by the bureau's National Criminal Information Center in Clarksburg, W.Va.

Next Generation IAFIS could cost the government as much as $75 million to $200 million. It is intended to improve the efficiency of IAFIS' function of matching fingerprint evidence to the bureau's trove of millions of sets of 10-finger images, according to FBI officials and procurement documents.

Next Generation IAFIS will also interact with the IDENT fingerprint database run by the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology system.

Lockheed Martin Corp. recently prevailed in a competition under which the FBI extended its contract to run IAFIS until at least Sept. 30, 2006, the bureau said. Lockheed Martin and other major systems integrators including Accenture LLC, the vendor that runs IDENT, likely will seek to bid on Next Generation IAFIS, according to industry sources.

Just as Next Generation IAFIS is aimed at improving the flow of information among law enforcement agencies, Justice's Litigation Case Management System (LCMS) project is intended to promote information sharing among the 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and six major divisions at headquarters that bring cases to court.

As it stands now, the U.S. attorneys' offices have litigation case management systems that link poorly or not at all with one another and with headquarters systems.

Justice is implementing LCMS under its case management lines-of-business authority assigned by the Office of Management and Budget. LCMS could cost the government as much as $15 million, according to industry sources.

The FBI likely will issue the Next Generation IAFIS contract in October 2006 after completing studies of the technology and running a competition. Justice plans to issue a contract for the litigation system next March.

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