MAY 08, 2006
Shortly after a top agent accused the FBI of criminal negligence in the investigation of convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, a government audit has revealed that the agency practically threw away $10 million that was supposed to buy technology critical to preventing future terrorist attacks.
The money was part of the FBI’s multi-million dollar Trilogy Project, which was launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks to give the agency a state-of-the-art computer system for managing its cases and information-sharing capabilities. Instead the bureau quietly scrapped the project last year after wasting $170 million in tax-payer funds.
Now a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report reveals the scandalous details of the waste and mismanagement of a program designed to save millions of American lives. Among the findings is that the Trilogy Project had at least $10 million in questionable charges on things such as excessive first-class air fare, incorrect overtime billing and other charges for which contractors could not provide adequate supporting documentation to substantiate the costs.
Additionally, the FBI lost more than 1,200 computer items bought for about $7.6 million with project funds leading a Justice Department inspector general, Glenn Fine, to state the obvious: “[The FBI] still does not have a modern, effective case-management system.”
The bureau’s solution was to sign a $305 million contract with Lockheed Martin to provide the technology it needs to efficiently combat terrorism. In an article titled “Federal Bureau of Luddities,” Defense Tech posts various comments from former FBI agents who offer insight on the ongoing tech problems at the agency.
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