The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations is soliciting bids for "Data Mining and Targeting Software" to help in its efforts to combat illegal trafficking in cigarettes and other tobacco products. The announcement appeared Monday on the federal government's fbo.gov contracting website:
The Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) was established in March 1992 by the Commissioner, with the urging of Congress, in response to concerns of increased criminal violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and related acts. The mission of the OCI is to investigate suspected criminal violations of the FDCA; the Federal Anti-Tampering Act (FATA); and other statutes including applicable Title 18 violations; and to collect evidence to support successful prosecutive actions through the federal or state court systems, as appropriate.
The FDA/OCI requires a data mining and targeting system for use in law enforcement operations to further ongoing efforts to counter the widespread illicit trafficking of FDA-regulated tobacco products throughout the United States. These products include misbranded, adulterated and counterfeit cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The data mining and targeting systems will have proprietary data analysis and extraction software that is utilized in the law enforcement community with user-defined data sets available and only accessible to law enforcement. The software allows users to search one, some, or all of the data sets at once, sort and analyze the data, and spin off new searches.
The documents go on to say that the data will come from commercial sources and/or US Customs and Border Protection, and that initially the "system will be stand-alone but must be capable of being networked at a later date."