Monday, June 06, 2005

FBI wasted $100 million in tax money on bad software--I want my share refunded

By 2004, the FBI had identified 400 different problems with early versions of their case management software, but they never reported any of them to the contractor. Instead, they proceeded with a $17 million testing program, even though they knew that the software would have to be trashed. One of the theories for this piece of outrage was that the test was politically motivated; i.e., the FBI had to "deliver something."

The reason the FBI gave for not reporting the problems is creative: They didn't want the contractor to think these 400 were the only remaining problems.

The report on the FBI's software bungling was prepared by the House Appropriations Committee's Surveys and Investigations staff.

Of course, the malfunctioning software was not only a huge waste of taxpayer money, but a direct threat to national security. The post-September 11 revelations of the FBI's ineptness were shocking enough, but if you have read Richard Clarke's Against All Enemies, then you know that those were just the tip of the iceberg. I think we might be safer without the FBI, at this point.


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