Audit: CBP still has problems with IT controls

Auditors find little progress in CBP's IT security

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency made little progress in securing its information technology systems in fiscal 2008, according to a new audit released by Homeland Security Department Inspector General Richard Skinner.

The agency, which is part of DHS, had significant problems with IT controls, according to the audit conducted by KPMG and released by Skinner May 8. Auditors found 34 weaknesses in IT controls at CBP in fiscal 2008, including 17 repeat findings.

The year before, in fiscal 2007, auditors identified 36 IT-related weaknesses, of which 19 were corrected and 17 continued to be deficient by the time of the fiscal 2008 audit.

The agency improved how it tracks the hiring, termination and systems access of contracted employees in its Office of Information Technology, the auditors wrote. CBP also improved how it tracks backup tapes and handles management reviews of control overrides.

However, the auditors said, "Collectively, the IT control weaknesses limited CBP’s ability to ensure that critical financial and operational data were maintained in such a manner to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability. In addition, these weaknesses negatively impacted the internal controls over CBP financial reporting and its operation, and we consider them to collectively represent a significant deficiency for CBP under standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.”

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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