Daily Outrage: $305 million computer upgrade stalled again due to technical problems 

WHAT: The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspended work on its decadelong project for modernizing its computer systems to combat 21st century crime and terrorism. Due to “minor” technical problems now necessitating design changes, the overhaul will be at least a year late and $30 million more costly. Agents need to be able to better navigate investigative files, search databases and communicate with one another.

TROUBLED HISTORY: A contractor re-start with Lockheed Martin was announced to great fanfare in 2006 after earlier work on the project collapsed. Before 9/11 many agents could not send or receive e-mail messages — especially with photo attachments — and had difficulty accessing case histories or linking to other databases.

RED FLAG: Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said “We’ve been through this song and dance before. Wouldn’t you think after hundreds of millions of dollars being wasted that they’d finally get it right?” The FBI is asking for an extra $317 million in its next budget.

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Michael Daboll

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