Justice kills case management project as scrutiny increases

White House taking closer look at high-risk federal IT projects

As part of a White House ongoing performance review of 26 high-priority IT projects, the Justice Department has canceled a records management project and the Interior Department has restructured another, according to federal CIO Vivek Kundra.

Justice officials have killed the Litigation Case Management System, which was “years behind schedule and over budget,” saving $193 million, Kundra told the Federal CIO Council on Sept. 20. The Justice case management project, now in its fourth year, had doubled in cost over its original estimate. The system would have provided a common case management solution for divisions in the department.


Related stories:

White House takes whack at financial management money pits

White House targets 26 high-risk IT programs for fixes


The IT Dashboard lists Computer Sciences Corp. as the main contractor for the program, pulling in $60.5 million worth of work. The company told the Washington Post that it has no current work on the program but is "ready to support" the Justice Department through any kind of contract vehicle.

In addition, the Interior Department has reorganized its Incident Management Analysis and Reporting System development program for a system to share security, law enforcement and emergency management information, Kundra said. By establishing incremental deliverables, Interior will accelerate delivery of services for its 6,000 law enforcement officers, he said.

The Office of Management and Budget started a review process for troubled financial management system projects in July and for 26 high-priority IT projects in August. In both programs, the IT projects are being reviewed by agency CIOs and OMB officials.

As part of that review, Kundra last week announced terminations and restructurings of financial management system development programs at four agencies.

 

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Sat, Sep 25, 2010

It always amazes me that the larger the company, the bigger the failure rate. Why doesn't the government use smaller vendors that must have a successful project to continue to grow and will do everything to make sure the project delivers on time, within budget and without the creative change orders? Why is it that they never hold the large vendors accountable before they pay invoices? I have not figured out how these contractors get millions if not billions before anything has been signed off on? As a small vendor I have to fight to get invoices paid, months after a solution or service has been delivered and signed off on. Ours are pennies in comparison. Creative legal teams that craft proposal responses and contract verbiage that can be interpreted as they need I suppose. The funny thing is you read about these failures all the time but the agencies still buy. Haven't they figured out that they are just going to get more of the same?

Wed, Sep 22, 2010

OK, so killing a project is the easy part. Actually saving a troubled project is hard. I just don't understand why the administration would consider killing a project like LCM and not ensure the work and resources already been done be used as part of a future restructured project. Obviously there is a need. Otherwise, the administration did not really save money they wasted it.

Wed, Sep 22, 2010

It troubles me that yet another DOJ case management effort has failed. This has to be the fourth or fifth failed attempt since the early 80s. The easiest thing to do and Kundra had gotten quite good at it is wave the white flag and cancel projects. What about holding the agencies involved accountable and doing a deep dive to document exactly why DOJ and others like the FBI can’t seem to introduce technology that will improve the productivity and quality of core mission processes! DOJ tried to implement a Consolidated Case Management as far back as the early 80s. But couldn’t even get the litigating divisions to agree on the definition of a “case”, “matter”, etc. Where was the leadership/sponsorship to get basic issues like this resolved? Kundra should be looking at ways to turn these repeated failures into successes.

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