The FBI and the General Services Administration's management of the FBI's failed Trilogy computer project was so poor that $17 million was lost to overcharges and outright fraud, Federal Computer Week reports.
“FBI’s review and approval process for Trilogy contractor invoices, which included [the GSA] review in its role as contracting agency, did not provide an adequate basis to verify that goods and services billed were actually received by FBI or that the amounts billed were appropriate,” the report found.
The FBI must shape up its control of contractor payments or risk overpayments on future projects that involve contractors, the report states. That includes Sentinel, the bureau’s new $425 million comprehensive case management system.
While the report details substantial waste and fraud, ultimately GAO expresses deeper concern about the underlying reasons.
“The significance of the issues identified during our review may be indicative of more systemic contract and financial management problems at FBI and GSA, in particular when using cost-reimbursable type contracts and interagency contracting vehicles,” according to the report.
The misspending found in the report may not be the only cases that occurred, the report states. The FBI’s poor invoice control makes it impossible to tell the full extent of mismanagement, and GAO did not look at all FBI payments to Trilogy contractors.
Wasted money isn’t the only reason the FBI’s inability to safeguard its equipment warrants concern, the report states. Unauthorized users could gain access to confidential or sensitive information on the equipment and pose real threats to cybersecurity and national security.