The latest Auditor General report (on National Audit Outcomes) cited the lack of adequate SA Government IT systems across government as a key obstacle to service delivery.
This highlights the need for South African government IT departments to find effective solutions that provide them with simplified central management of their data, and help them in making sure that their data is effectively protected. If South African government IT departments can employ effective solutions to address this, they will see hugely improved Auditor General reports.
The Auditor General report found many gaps in the current Government department’s IT systems and processes.
SA Government IT failings highlighted include:
- a lack of IT service continuity planning
- insufficient security management systems
- a general lack of IT governance compliance
In short, the auditor-general (AG) found that practically none of South Africa’s national government departments and public sector entities have sufficient IT systems in place. SA Government IT needs to address this in order to improve Auditor General reports and simplify these audit processes.
SA Government IT: Failure to Secure Strategic Assets
The AG report highlights the fact that “public sector departments and public entities are heavily reliant on IT systems to perform their statutory financial management, reporting and administrative functions.”
The report then further highlights the lack of adequate systems in SA Government IT to protect organizational data, stating: “Information processed and stored on IT systems is seen as a ‘strategic asset that is vital to the accuracy and reliability of the financial (and performance) information used by management during the planning, monitoring and reporting phases.”
Clearly the loss, destruction and inadequate management of government confidential data are some of the major obstacles standing in the way of effective service delivery and improving Auditor General reports.
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Lack of Accountability and Control
The impact of SA Government IT system failure on government’s ability to perform and exercise prudent financial management is further highlighted by investigations into alleged irregularities and corruption in the Limpopo Province.
According to Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, “one of the major reasons for the province’s 3 billion rand budget deficit is that its information technology systems are in a mess, with gaping security holes and little controls in place to prevent access to (and tampering with) financial information.”
A fact not unique to the Limpopo Province it has to be said, with the AGs report finding that information security controls (which aim to stop unauthorized access to networks, information etc) were inadequate at:
- 81% of audited government departments
- 92% of audited public entities
Added to that the AG found control weakness at all departments relating to IT service continuity, with deficiencies varying between a failure to backup user and organizational data and a lack of business continuity, to effective disaster recovery planning.
SA Government Information Technology: Control, Compliance & Continuity
SA Government IT needs to make sure that critical data located on users’ endpoint devices, such as laptops and desktops is centrally controlled and protected.
An automated data backup and recovery solution will help SA government IT departments to:
- Centrally control all aspects of critical user data backup
- Control access to data through encryption and management reporting
- Offer “version recovery” of data to obtain original copies of files
- Deliver quick and easy data recovery, including email PST files
- Prove business continuity and disaster recovery planning
- Prove adherence to Governance, Risk and Compliance protocols
The deployment of such a solution will have an immediate and favorable impact on rectifying Government ITs failings as pointed out by the auditor-general’s report.
With service delivery a key measure of government’s success, the importance of swift and decisive action cannot be stressed enough.
- Cibecs is a locally developed data backup and recovery solution for user data located on endpoint devices.Cibecs allows central control over user data, enabling IT to enforce an organization’s data backup policy. In addition to quick and easy recovery of lost data, Cibecs offers key operational benefits, such as:Cost-effective migration of data during Windows OS upgrade or hardware refresh projects, non-intrusive and invisible backup of user data and efficient reports to prove compliance with corporate governance requirements, to name but a few.
- Cibecs is trusted by hundreds of thousands of business users worldwide, its clients include several leading South African financial institutions as well as public sector and parastatal organisations such as: The National Prosecuting Authority, the IDC, TCTA, the Gauteng Department of Education, SA Weather Services, DLGH-Gauteng, Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport – Mpumalanga, as well as several local municipalities.
Visit the South African State Information Technology Association page