July 22, 2019
BY Jariatu S. Bangura
Principal Auditor of Audit Service Sierra Leone, Mohamed Mustapha, has stated that a review of the HRIS Application revealed that there was no off-site backup option to third party created within the system to enable it and the server to be reloaded with the latest data in the event of a disaster or a system crash.
He told the Public Account Committee that since 2016, they recommended to the ICT department of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to create a backup system at their Headquarters and the Wellington branch, of which they agreed.
He said the ICT department also agreed that they will work with management to update the IT Policy- to include a chapter on disaster recovery as stated in Chapter 7 of the Distaste Recovery and Business Continuity plan Policy.
He added that the department also agreed to add a chapter on Change Management and submitted a copy of the said Policy as evidence, but they never did.
He noted that there was no proof of an approved disaster recovery plan being operational in the Commission.
He disclosed that there was no evidence of a changed management policy or documented procedure in place to support the changes to the Commission’s Information System.
Responding to the allegations, Executive Secretary of the Commission, William A. Davies said the issue of backup system was still pending as the Commission was busy conducting elections, but noted that they would work on it before the end of 2019.
He said they have had backup system at both the headquarters and the Wellington branch, during and after elections preceding the 2018 election.
He also said they have put in place a recovery data system and that all the documents were ready for inspection.
On the issue of Management changes, Mr. Davies said the ICT department was able to prepare a policy for such.
However, the Principal Auditor argued that NEC has been saying it with no evidence to ascertain the fact.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Public Account Committee, Hon. Abdul Titus Kamara said the excuses given by the officials of NEC will not be accepted by the Committee as data system is very key and must be treated with uttermost response.
Also, Hon. Francis Kaisamba opined that the survival of politician depends on NEC and most especially the database preservation, stating the need to resolve the issue with immediacy.
Commissioner of the Southern Region, Edmond Alpha promised the Committee that all concerns raised will be looked into as they now have ample time to do so.