A Q&A with the FBI's data czar
A: I would say the Aerospace Report [an independent evaluation] probably sealed it for everyone . . .
Q: Which came when?
A: January 21st this year.
Q: So, up to then, he was pretty much hoping that it was . . . ?
A: Everybody was, OMB was, DOJ was, everybody was hoping, except for people who were doing software engineering. Cause everyone was like, "Who's going to maintain 730,000 lines of code?"
Q: So where do you go from here?
A: Oh, we have a number of strategies. . . . It's very close held, mainly because it's procurement sensitive because we have outlined the timeline across the technology . . . everyday, I get asked that question, "What are you doing?" And we're sort of tight-lipped about it. Make sure that the people have a fair advantage when the contract goes out. But the bottom line is . . . I don't want people to wait for the mother lode, because by the time we get the mother lode there may be already a change in the technology anyways. I'd rather give them the capabilities that they need right now and it's more critical and important to them . . . I mean, there are certain things that we have to do and we have to right, for example, this whole data transition. I mean, how we going to get our data out of the legacy system?
Q: How much is it?
A: It's about 30 million documents I think, sitting in ACS. Nobody has been successful to do that kind of transition.
Q: The director's pretty savvy about these things . . . one of the things about him is that he's really very . . . pretty sophisticated about computers. So, did it raise red flags with him when SAIC offered this deal where they would make this complete transition from one system to the other?
A: I would say, that piece of it requires a different skill set and that's purely software engineering. I mean, the director is very sharp, he knows his data bases, he knows some of the technology but when it comes to legacy systems, you know, he knew that we had a data base, which is pretty old, but the pieces that probably were not explained to him, is that our security mechanism are coded in natural language, in database, okay. Now, remember what I mentioned about the supervisors, how they have these rights. Think about if you have 100 supervisors, they have been coded for security a hundred times in the system. Then if we have 200 different types of cases, every one of them has been coded separately for security. Now to map this kind of world, into something that is more manageable, that's not an easy task. I don't think . . . I'll be honest with you, I don't even think SAIC had thought about that.
Q: The security needs of . . .