Secret Service Computers Only Work at 60 Percent Capacity; Agency Uses 1980s Mainframe

This is not the first time that drastically out of date computer systems have been discovered in federal agencies. The FBI revealed it suffered from major computer problems following the scrutiny the bureau received after the 9/11 attacks.

The bureau's most embarrassing computer problem came in 2005 when the FBI had to scrap the $170 million Virtual Case File program, which was designed to help agents track cases electronically.

Since then, the FBI has been setting up a new $451 million project called Sentinel, which will allow agents to use a Web-based system to incorporate the FBI's old existing files. While the Justice Department inspector general has expressed some concerns that the program runs slowly for users and some cost overruns, it is scheduled to be completed later this year.

Asked why DHS was requesting less money than the initial estimate of $187 million, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "Part of it is an assessment of how much it would actually cost and also what can be purchased and what is needed on a priority basis."

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