NYS Comptroller releases another school district IT audit

Released December 30, 2022

Background

The District serves the Towns of Frankfort and Schuyler in Herkimer County.

The District is governed by the Board of Education (Board), which is composed of seven elected members. The Board is responsible for the general management and control of the District’s financial and educational affairs.

The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the District’s chief executive officer and is responsible, along with other administrative staff, for the District’s day-to-day management under the Board’s direction.

The District’s Assistant Superintendent of Business and Technology (Assistant Superintendent) and Superintendent are responsible for managing the District’s IT operations, in conjunction with a Network Administrator and a computer technical assistant.

Audit Period

July 1, 2020 – December 20, 2021

Audit Objective

Determine whether Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District (District) officials maintained appropriate information technology (IT) asset inventory records and established adequate controls over network user accounts.

Key Findings

District officials did not maintain appropriate IT asset inventory records or establish adequate IT controls over network user accounts. In addition to sensitive IT weaknesses communicated confidentially, District officials did not:

  • Develop written procedures for tracking IT assets. Nine of 31 devices (laptops, desktops and tablets) we tested were not located.
  • Adequately manage network user accounts. Sixty-five network user accounts were not needed.
  • Enter into a service level agreement (SLA) with each of the District’s IT service providers to clearly identify the IT services and providers’ responsibilities. Over a half million dollars was paid to IT service providers.

In addition, because officials did not develop a written IT contingency plan there is an increased risk that the District could lose important data and suffer a serious interruption to operations, such as not being able to process paychecks, vendor payments, student grades or State aid claims.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish adequate procedures, plans and agreements needed to protect the District’s IT assets, network and data.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on an issue raised in the District’s response letter

Source.

Read the complete report.

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