Chad Fulgham, a former Wall Street tech exec, says software development for FBI's delayed Sentinel case-management system is now complete.
Top 10 Open Government Websites
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
FBI CIO Chad Fulgham, who has overseen the agency's Sentinel case-management project for the past three years, plans to leave the agency in April to return to the private sector. Sentinel is due for completion within the next few months.
Fulgham joined the agency in August 2008 from the private sector, where he worked as senior VP of IT for Lehman Brothers and, before that, at IBM and JP Morgan Chase. A 1996 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Fulgham served five years in the Navy before going to work on Wall Street.
At the FBI, Fulgham drove several initiatives to upgrade the agency's aging IT infrastructure, replacing old PCs and desktop applications with new machines and Microsoft's latest collaboration tools, and deploying to a Cisco-based IP network. He reorganized the FBI's Information and Technology Branch to make it more business aligned and services oriented. FBI director Robert Mueller, in a statement on Fulgham's departure, credits his "corporate-style management."
Fulgham's biggest challenge has been an expensive, long-term project to replace the agency's outdated paper-based case management processes with a new digital case-management system called Sentinel. In March 2006, the FBI awarded a $305 million contract to Lockheed Martin to lead development of Sentinel, with completion planned for 2009.
But Sentinel, amid repeated delays, fell behind schedule and its budget grew to $451 million. In September 2010, Fulgham decided to bring the project in house, reduce Lockheed's role, and use internal resources and agile development methodology to hasten its completion. At the time, he aimed to complete the project by September 2011.
A test of the system last fall, however, revealed "significant" performance issues, which were attributed to overburdened legacy hardware, according to a report by the Inspector General. As a result, the FBI was forced to acquire new servers capable of handling the workload.
In the statement announcing Fulgham's departure, the FBI said Sentinel is now slated to begin operating this summer. "The software coding is done, the new hardware is in place, and it has been quite impressive during initial performance testing," Fulgham said in the statement.
Sentinel promises to improve case management at the FBI by introducing digital records and automated workflow. It's being closely watched because it represents a shift from the kind of multi-year software development projects that were common in federal agencies in the past to an approach that emphasizes near-term deliverables and regular adjustments.
As federal agencies embrace devices and apps to meet employee demand, the White House seeks one comprehensive mobile strategy. Also in the new Going Mobile issue of InformationWeek Government: Find out how the National Security Agency is developing technologies to make commercial devices suitable for intelligence work. (Free registration required.)
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.