FBI computer won’t be ready for use until May 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) ? A Justice Department audit has found that the launch of FBI’s long-delayed computer upgrade has been pushed back to the middle of 2012.

The FBI’s Sentinel program was launched to build a paperless case management system. It was supposed to be completed by December 2009.

But now the FBI’s chief technology officer tells the Justice Department inspector general that the system’s deployment is now scheduled for May. The audit from the inspector general’s office says an October exercise identified “deficiencies” in Sentinel’s performance. That forced cancellation of the scheduled January launch.

The FBI has struggled for years to modernize its computer systems.

The IG audit released Friday also expressed concern that the bureau would be able to stay within its estimated $451 million budget for the new system.