No more paper as FBI goes all-digital

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has upgraded from a paper-filing system to a digital case management system at a cost of more than $600 million.

Aug 16, 2012
By Paul Jacques

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has upgraded from a paper-filing system to a digital case management system at a cost of more than $600 million.

The US agency’s all-digital system – called Sentinel – features a web browser-style user interface that allows agents to enter and review information about cases or suspects.

Agents can do quick searches to see if one of their cases has any similarities to other cases, an improvement which should speed up investigations. Additionally, agents can electronically sign documents using an identification badge reader.

Elements of Sentinel have been in use by FBI agents for months, but the agency made the full switch to digital filing last month. The software sees about 20,000 users a day.

“The deployment of Sentinel is an important step forward for FBI’s information technology,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller.

A digital filing system became a top priority for the FBI after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Sentinel project began in 2005, but was stalled by budgetary disputes.

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