The Sentinel program is intended to replace and expand on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) failed Virtual Case File (VCF) project and thereby meet the bureau's pressing need for a modern, automated capability to support its field agents and intelligence analysts' investigative case management and information sharing requirements. Because of the FBI's experience with VCF and the importance of Sentinel to the bureau's mission operations, GAO was asked to conduct a series of reviews on the FBI's management of Sentinel. This review focuses on the FBI's (1) use of effective practices for acquiring Sentinel and (2) basis for reliably estimating Sentinel's schedule and costs. To address its objectives, GAO researched relevant best practices, reviewed FBI policies and procedures, program plans and other program documents, and interviewed appropriate program officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Federal Bureau of Investigation||To strengthen the FBI's management of its Sentinel program, the FBI Director should instruct the bureau's CIO to work with Sentinel support contractors, where feasible, to establish and implement performance standards in statements of work relative to the quality and timeliness of products and the performance of services.|
|Federal Bureau of Investigation||To strengthen the FBI's management of its Sentinel program, the FBI Director should instruct the bureau's CIO to revise the IT handbook and related guidance to address schedule and cost estimating best practices that are identified in this report as not being addressed in FBI policies and procedures and ensure that these best practices are fully employed on all major IT programs, including Sentinel.|