NYPD has no backup for its seized property database, recording millions in annual seizures


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/18/capgemini-charged-em-25-5m.html


#2

You speak of this “IT deficiency” as if it’s a bug and not a feature for the NYPD.


#3

Also a matter of public record is the database’s cost: …more than $25.5 million in 2009 to design the database that it is now unsure how to back up.

You know, for a quarter of that price, I would be willing to design them an A-quality Excel spreadsheet, and throw in a backup macro at no additional cost!


#4

It’s like they’re asking for somebody to install a backdoor and start siphoning off cash and goods.


#5

Is there just the slight glimmer of chance that they do that on purpose?


#6

Sounds like it was maybe added as a feature when they were gathering requirements…

Feature 1: Add plausible deniability for information requests via non-redundancy and/or inability to back up.


#7

I used to keep my home computer in that chassis, but I couldn’t stand the small monitor and having a modern monitor on there ruined the joke.


#8

If you want to lose even more of your faith in the Government, talk to the people in charge of IT. No matter how good the techs are, the bureaucracy will screw it up. Oh you want to setup a storage system that reliably works? Too bad, our current system “works.”

Then there are all the documents that are in paper only which makes it super difficult to find the information you’re looking through.


#9

Welcome to my professional career.

The stories I could tell you (if I weren’t covered by NDAs and professional ethics) would make your hair curl. One VERY important thing to note - it is definitely not just government that works like that, it is the vast majority of all businesses. I know it’s fashionable to claim that government can do nothing technical properly, and that is often the case, but it’s almost equally true in any private business that is older than 10 years or so.


#10

On the flip side, just try to get an IT guy to throw out anything, no matter how antiquated or redundant. The answer is invariably “As soon as I houseclean, something will come up that needs that piece of hardware or software I just discarded.” For the past several years, the back room in DH’s business has looked like Fibber McGee’s closet until the massive cleanup at the beginning of October.


#11

Also part of my job.

There is enormous legal liability in storing content and files beyond their legal retention period. On the flip side, you need to keep the hardware to read and convert the files (or preferably have a process to convert and update them regularly).

I dealt with a client a few years ago that had a machinist on staff who would make spare parts for their failing optical jukebox while they planned the migration effort. It should never get to that point.


#12

Freeze all the assets if that can be determined and figure it out. Find a backup anywhere. I’m sure someone has it on a cd or usb. What was it, an excel spreadsheet?


#13

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