The FBI Operates Two Computerized Criminal History Information Systems

GGD-79-81: Published: Sep 7, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 1979.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates two programs for accumulating and disseminating criminal history information. The National Crime Information Center's Computerized Criminal History (CCH) program was developed for rapid dissemination of criminal information. The Automated Identification Division System (AIDS) program was developed to reduce operating costs and shorten the time required to disseminate criminal history information. Both programs are being developed so that either could be the comprehensive system for the criminal justice community. Development plans provide for AIDS to phaseout its maintenance and dissemination of criminal history information as the States assume these responsibilities.

The AIDS program is being implemented in phases and is scheduled for full operation in 1983. Much of AIDS success depends on state-of-the-art technology involving the invention of new special purpose computers to read and match finger prints. The two programs, AIDS and CCH, record the same type of crimes and disseminate the same kind of information. Consequently, duplication of arrest information exists between AIDS, CCH, and the States' systems. FBI has been unsuccessful in its attempts to decrease duplication and increase support to the CCH program. Each of the programs has separate advantages which have been determined necessary in a criminal history information system. AIDS provides for positive identification, and CCH provides for rapid dissemination and offers the ability to operate as a decentralized records system. When FBI initially awarded the present contract for its computer system, the method of acquisition did not offer the greatest advantage to the Government. FBI has renewed the equipment contact each fiscal year since 1972. It has not yet conducted annual reviews as required by Federal regulation to determine if the Federal Government could save money by negotiating a new contract. The FBI did not develop a long-range plan identifying its automatic data processing requirements and, as a result, its current computer equipment is overloaded.

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