The NCIC database was created in 1967 under FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. The purpose of the system was to create a centralized information system to facilitate information flow between the numerous law enforcement branches. The original infrastructure cost is estimated to have been over $180 million. In the mid-1990s, the program went through an upgrade from the legacy system to the current NCIC 2000 system. A 1993 GAO estimate concluded that in addition to the costs of the upgrades, the FBI would need to spend an additional $2 billion to update its computer system to allow all users workstation access.
The NCIC makes available a variety of records to be used for law enforcement and security purposes. These records are made up of a variety of forms of personal and property records.