William L. Hooton
"We need to figure out how to manage our case files effectively.Understand, we have no real-in my opinion-records management system at the bureau." -William L. Hooton
...William L. HootonAssistant Director, Records Management Division
...William L. Hooton, the assistant FBI director in charge of the Records Management Division, described the Records Management Application at a recent meeting of the National Capital Chapter of the Association for Information and Image Management in Arlington, Va. Hooton
acknowledged criticism that the Justice Department's
inspector general leveled at the FBI
in the wake of the troubled prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber
As part of the reforms resulting from Senate hearings about the IG report, the bureau pledged to get help from outside experts such as Hooton
to manage its records. Before joining the FBI, Hooton held senior positions at the IRS and the National Archives and Records Administration, where he served as chairman of the Digital Imaging Activities Group.He also held executive positions at Tower Software Inc. of Reston, Va., and Science Applications International Corp.
In the past, the bureau often has appointed FBI special agents to senior IT positions.
"We don't know what we have, and we don't know what we don't have," Hooton
echoed the statements of Senate Judiciary Committee members who had given a forum for Justice IG Glenn A. Fine to describe flaws riddling the department's IT infrastructure.
The bureau now has consolidated almost 1,000 employees into the Records Management Division, bringing together staff from 22 separate organizations to form the largest division in the headquarters building, Hooton
"We need to figure out how to manage our case files effectively," Hooton
The DocLab uses a "dirty" optical character reader process, as opposed to a corrected OCR process, to speed up operations, Hooton
said."We just don't have the time right now to do very high-quality OCR," he
expects that as the project progresses, the division will convert some of DocLab's 10 production lines to higher-quality scanning.
The production lines each have about six or seven workers, Hooton
DocLab uses I820 high-speed scanners from Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y.
, as well as the company's I60 platen scanner and a 359EC rescanner.
All the equipment scans in color, Hooton
The scanned records eventually will build up databases to which the bureau can apply data mining techniques, Hooton
The division also carries out all the Freedom of Information Act request processing for the bureau.Hooton
said the staff devoted to that task has been cut sfrom 544 down to about 120, by re-engineering the FOIA process and eliminating duplication of effort.
In addition, the division operates a call center that responds to requests for records, Hooton
One of the division's major problems "is the conundrum of information sharing," Hooton
said."On the one hand you must share the information, and on the other hand you must not share the information, for security reasons." Hooton
said it is a daunting dilemma, but the bureau is devoting "an awful lot of horsepower to come up with a good plan [for information sharing] that will work on both of these important things."
As for the future of the records management system, Hooton
said, "This is going to be a never-ending type of thing.