Launch

Monday, October 10, 2005

Border screening security issues

According to this, you can have security of a sort but ...these are not comforting words:
"Success depends how you measure it," says Randy Hite, the GAO's director for IT architecture and systems issues, who conducts oversight on the US-Visit program. "If you don't commit to what you are going to do and how you will measure it, you can declare success on whatever you choose to measure."

Hastings acknowledges that getting a workable screening system in place on time meant making trade-offs in standard project management practices, in documenting what was done and in measuring the ROI. He says he didn't have time to do the kind of strategic plan that might have enabled the US-Visit team to build the most comprehensive solution possible. He also didn't have time to build a new system using the latest technologies. Instead, to meet its deadline, the US-Visit staff was forced to cobble together a bunch of legacy applications and networks. The system will need repeated code changes as new requirements are added. In short, the US-Visit program is currently the sum total of all the compromises that deadline pressure made necessary.

"This violated every rule in how you do systems development," Hastings acknowledges. "But you've gotta compromise, and you've gotta break rules."

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