The long-delayed launch of a troubled $1.7 billion online system for reviewing immigration applications has been postponed indeterminately because the tool is not functioning properly, according to internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memos reviewed by Nextgov. USCIS officials as recently as last month told auditors the Transformation project would be online in December, but now the new impediment may increase already rising costs, the auditors say.
The tool is supposed to digitize the currently manual review of applications for legal residency at a time when immigration reforms threaten to overburden case officers. Agency officials had announced a December unveiling, but earlier this year they scaled back the release to one form for visitors requesting extensions to stay in the country.
“The number of critical and high defects identified is at 275 and going up,” an internal presentation given by Transformation Support Division Chief Bruce Cavey noted. “It is with the continued dedication displayed by [program staff] that we will fix, test, fix, retest until we have a quality release product.”
As of Nov. 27, of 1,447 total test cases for the one form, 387 had failed while only 381 cases had passed, according to the slides viewed by Nextgov. The other cases are either blocked or awaiting testing.
Agency officials on Friday said deployment for the first form is now slated for sometime early next year.
via NextGov, continued here.