ADP Procurement:

FBI Addresses Risk to Its National Crime Information Center Acquisition

IMTEC-91-60: Published: Aug 2, 1991. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 1991.

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GAO performed a risk assessment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) planned procurement of its National Crime Information Center Project (NCIC 2000), focusing on: (1) potential risks to the project's cost, schedule, and ability to meet user requirements; and (2) the effectiveness of a model GAO recently developed to identify potential risks in the information technology acquisition process.

GAO found that: (1) there was strong user support for NCIC 2000, its goals, and its management; (2) users reported strong involvement in developing system requirements and effective FBI communications with them about project status; (3) FBI changed its preference for a compatibility-limited procurement after determining that the associated costs of implementing a new system architecture did not justify such restrictions; (4) the original draft solicitation did not define demonstration requirements, the relative importance of evaluation factors, or whether software development costs would be paid on a fixed-fee or incentive-fee basis; (5) FBI planned to develop the source selection plan after releasing the solicitation, which could result in further revisions of the solicitation, but planned to revise a draft source selection plan concurrently with the final solicitation; (6) FBI changed source selection and system development schedules to reflect more realistic time frames; (7) FBI consultation with an independent, nonprofit system engineering firm for technical assistance was valuable in ensuring that a diverse, experienced team was in place to initiate NCIC 2000; (8) while project officials expressed confidence in the strong, consistent support they received from senior FBI officials, there were few instances where those officials formally approved key contract decisions; and (9) FBI was still forming a project team to ensure continuity and direction.