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Letter Report to the FBI
milestones and a specific timeline for defining the “as-is” EA as a baseline for implementing the new “to-be” EA.
Observations and comments: The reported steps to obtain significant operational input to and validation of the “as-is” enterprise architecture are aligned with the committee’s recommendations for proceeding with the development of an EA for the FBI. The committee notes that the need for senior operational leadership involvement, including that of the director, will increase significantly as the FBI addresses the “to-be” enterprise architecture, because it is the vision and policies of the operational leadership that must be incorporated in the “to-be” EA for full implementation of it to be successful. Development of an “as-is,” followed by a “to-be” enterprise architecture, will be major milestones for the FBI.
In its original report, the committee recommended that the FBI refrain from using the VCF as the primary foundation on which to build its analytical and data management capabilities for the intelligence processes supporting the counterterrorism mission. Rather, the committee said that the FBI should fashion an architecture for the counterterrorism mission from scratch, and then design explicit interfaces to the VCF when information must flow between them. The committee’s focus on this issue was driven by the fact that in the FBI’s October 2003 briefing to the committee, FBI managers represented the VCF as a system intended to support both the criminal investigation and counterterrorism missions of the FBI.
On May 20, 2004, Mr. Azmi emphasized that the VCF will be primarily a tool for workflow automation in the criminal investigative process, and additionally will serve as one of many “data feeds” into a system known as the Investigative Data Warehouse (IDW). The IDW provides single-query access to data in multiple databases (including data currently resident in the ACS system) and provides a portfolio of intelligence-oriented analytical tools (e.g., “entity extraction tools” to locate names, phone numbers, and other information in documents, or “relationship-tracking tools” to identify who is in contact with whom).
Mr. Azmi also addressed the issue of security briefly, stating that a security group is in place and is undertaking actions such as a red-team analysis of Trilogy security.
Observations and comments: The concept of the IDW as related to the committee on May 20 is consistent with the spirit of the committee’s recommendation for separate but linked enterprise subarchitectures. The committee was not briefed on May 20 about progress on the subarchitecture for the counterterrorism mission and urges continued attention to the creation of such an architecture along the lines of its recommendations in the original report. Within the limits of a short demonstration of the IDW to the committee on May 20, the IDW appears to provide some of the key capabilities necessary for intelligence use. More detailed examination and review would be needed to determine the extent and nature of enhancements to today’s IDW that are needed to serve effectively the full set of operational needs for intelligence analysis.1
The FBI managers providing the May 20 briefing on the IDW noted that internal demand for the capabilities provided today by the IDW was strong and that the current user base of 500 is expected to grow rapidly in the future. The committee believes that if growth in demand
In particular, Section 2.2.2 of the original report outlined desiderata for what the committee called an “integrated data warehouse.” The committee continues to believe that these desiderata, or ones that may be developed in the future by the FBI, ought to drive the design of a truly integrated data warehouse.