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Federal Bureau Of Investigation Virtual Case

2613 words - 10 pages

FBI is a national security organization whose mission is to protect United States against terrorist attacks, foreign intelligence threat to the American society. (Quick Facts, 2013). It has branches all over the world and it has a field oriented organization structure (A FBI Organizational Structure and Investigative Jurisdiction, 1997).FBI has an organizational culture where agents are very concerned about information sharing and lack the trust on technology since it is a secret and highly secured agency. Security of data about cases is very crucial and important to agents in solving cases. (Saunders & Pearlson, 2009)
FBI lacked modernization of technology and used heavy paper intensive work in developing cases. The data in FBI was highly centralized and communication between agents working globally was very poor. Due to ineffective communication between agents the cases used to take long time to develop and solve. The agents used outdated systems and servers. The IT infrastructure was not organized and there was no CIO for the IT sector. (Marchewka, 2010 )
In September 2000, under the direction of FBI director Louis Freeh, Congress approved $378 million for the improvisation of technology and to develop a project called FBI Information Technology Upgrade (FITU) (Marchewka, 2010 ). The FITU was a trilogy and had to accomplish three goals over period:
• Providing 22,000 agents, supporting staff and 56 agency offices new upgraded desktops and servers.
• Virtual Case File (VCF) that automates the paper-based recording of case details i.e. Automated Case system and facilitates the information sharing among the agents worldwide about the cases.

• Most important investigative database and case information should be accessed through internet by the FBI agents to speed up the investigative process. (Marchewka, 2010 )


Virtual Case File (VCF) is a totally failed IT project due to poor Project Management.. It is a system which was intended to manage cases, evidences and records of FBI. The agents had to scan the hard copies of paper intensive recording of cases to upload them in computer files. The agents lacked a proper communication channel for cooperation among the agents working globally to share information about the cases which would help in solving the cases within less time. (Marchewka, 2010 )
After 9/11 attacks, FBI was very in need of a system that could help them track the cases and get critical information gathered globally.

Project Development:
VCF project was contracted to Science Application International Corp. (SAIC) in San Diego. At that point there were no existing software that satisfied all their requirements. This project was initiated before 9/11 attacks but actually started to work intensely after the attacks. Robert Muller became the director of FBI replacing Louis Freeh. There was a lot of pressure to develop the project as soon as possible due to the influence of attacks. There was no CIO when the...

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