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FBI has made major progress, former IT chief says

For the past 18 months, the FBI has been frantically trying to dig itself out of a knowledge management sinkhole created by years of mismanaged IT projects. And according to the bureau’s former IT chief, agency progress to date has been astonishing. Robert Chiaradio, managing director of homeland security at McLean, Va.-based BearingPoint Inc., is an 18-year veteran of the FBI. He left the bureau last July after serving for 18 months as executive assistant director for administration. In that capacity, Chiaradio was one of four officials who reported directly to FBI Director Robert Mueller, and he was responsible for the bureau’s entire IT budget. According to Chiaradio, years of deploying IT systems without a view toward an enterprisewide architecture resulted in an “improvised” IT infrastructure of more than 50 stovepiped applications written in various languages and running on disparate systems. “What they ended up with was a critical shortfall in knowledge management,” Chiaradio said. “That became obvious very quickly after Sept. 11, 2001.” Full Story

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