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Tuesday
Jun242014

IT Report Hits The Ground Running

The long awaited IT Report on all the shennanigans that have presented in the IT Department for a considerable time arrived on the open agenda from the Audt Committee for tomorrows meeting. Go to page Item 7.2 page 379.

I will not comment other than to say that it appears to be extensive and contains many parts that indicate a very thorough examination of the entire workings of the Council IT system, and many defects were discovered.

The 'top to bottom audit' followed this (from the "Priate & Confidential" Memo to Councillors dated 8 April::

"Two staff within the general IT area of Council were either suspended or released from their
contract due to serious misconduct. One of the serious misconduct issues has resulted in
the initiation of a Police investigation after a complaint was lodged by TCDC's Fraud
Manager."

The attachments to the Paper were extremely revealing of the defects, and point to the fact that as we understood at the time, the principal objective was to seal perceived leaks. Many were found, but it appears that no evidence could be located of any actual leaks, or hacks having taken place. If I was a 'suspect', then all they had to do was ask. But I realise that it was far deeper than that, and that there were many targets in the investigation that ensued.

In fact, there appeared to be hundreds of 'vulnerabilities' identified, but fortuantely for the Council, little evidence that any had been exploited, but it is just as well, that this kind of audit is undertaken on a regular basis. Most of the problem often arises through complacency, and when people have been in positions of responsibility for too long.

In this case, it appears that certain people used their positions to advantage themselves in a totally improper manner, but no doubt the details of this will be revealed should the matter end up in a court of law, as appears likely. The actual investigation of weaknesses in the system appeared to follow the identification of malfeasance by an outside party, and Ben Day, whose has responsibility for this area took advantage of this situation to order up the full audit.

Go to page 433 to see the Private & Confidential document that records the full actions taken by Ben Day on 8 April following the identification of the malfeasance referred to in the previous para. - it is quite revealing. i.e. -

"Our Library and Service Kiosks ere taken offline on Thursday 3 April as they were directly connected to our internal network (three clicks into our internal network drives)"

That appears identical to the problem identified in Work & Income some three years ago that caused a huge curfufle.

Of more concern to me is the fact that finally worked out that DocServe24 is a dog of a program that has served both the Council and the public very badly over several years - it is the document retrieval program that I have complained about an many occasions. From all reports, Track24 who have designed several of the software systems in use in the  Council have been given their marching orders, and not before time.

A whole range of other actions have been instituted to upgrade what appears to have been a completely compromised system - it is a 'top to bottom' review and replacement hardware and software program that is under way. Expect a huge financial hit before this is all over - the hardware alone will surely amount to several hundred thousand dollars. Rocket Projects have the carriage of this.

This document is well worth a close look.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (2)

I'd be very interested in reading this report but your link does not seem to go anywhere. In regards to the 'huge financial hit', this cost should be reduced considerably if this Council follows the recommended E-Government Strategy and adopts or at the very least investigates open source options and platforms available. See: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=3451601
This is especailly important where public money is being used!

August 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRubes

Thanks for the comment – it is sort of ancient history – along with your 2003 NZH link.
In any case I suggest you provide any recommendations along those lines direct to IT at TCDC – I have no direct contact with them.
As for the URl – as I indicated, it was supposed to be “confidential,” but for some strange reason, it was released – I think they wanted me to put it up as a show of 'open government', but then I think they had second thoughts, and took it down again.
That is par for the course with this bunch of amateurs.

August 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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