NYS Comptroller Audit of Onteora Central School District: Information Technology

From the well-there’s-certainly-room-for-improvement dept.:

Scope and Objective

The objective of our audit was to determine whether the District’s IT assets were adequately safeguarded for the period July 1, 2013 through November 5, 2014. We extended our review of data extracted from the District’s computers and networks through the end of our fieldwork March 3, 2015. Our audit addressed the following related question:

• Did the Board and District officials provide adequate oversight of IT assets?

Audit Results

The Board and District officials need to improve controls over the District’s IT assets. We found that the Board did not establish an adequate acceptable use policy, a computer security plan, a disaster recovery plan, policies and procedures for the disposal of computer equipment or a policy for security awareness training. In addition, the District’s service level agreement (SLA) with the BOCES for network support specialists did not include written terms defining the service level objectives and performance indicators, roles and responsibilities, nonperformance impact, security procedures, reporting requirements, and, review/update and approval processes. The SLA also did not clearly identify who was responsible for various aspects of the District’s IT environment. Without these policies and a comprehensive SLA, the Board does not have adequate assurance that employees and contractors understand their responsibilities to ensure that the District’s IT assets are secure.

We also found that the District did not keep an inventory of software licenses and its hardware inventory records were not accurate and up-to-date. Of the 31 items that should have been tagged and entered into the inventory system, 18 items (or 58 percent), including tablets and wireless streaming devices, were not included in the inventory system. Without an accurate inventory of computer and technology equipment, District officials cannot be assured that these assets are adequately accounted for and protected from loss, theft, misuse and obsolescence. Further, District officials cannot ensure that the software programs were authorized by IT management and licenses were obtained legally, as required by the District’s acceptable use policy. Furthermore, although the District used a program to filter web content, we identified sites that were not reviewed for actual content. We reviewed 35 sites visited in the “unknown” category and found that 13 sites had content in blocked categories. As a result, users could access inappropriate websites and put the District’s network at risk.

Full audit report available here (pdf).

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