GSA must secure online construction data, audit finds

Public Building Service needs to lock down sensitive building project data when posting in a shared online intranet

The General Services Administration needs greater security for its sensitive building information in online environments, according to a new report.

Officials in GSA’s Public Building Service (PBS) began using electronic project management software applications (e-PMs) in the 1990s to more easily share project information.

However, they put sensitive information at risk by using the e-PMs and other “groupware,” such as intranet Web sites, according to a GSA inspector general’s audit report. The report was released March 31. Even so, officials have not included these online systems under the purview of its security program or ensured that the e-PMs comply with Federal Information Security Management Act requirements.

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The auditors recommended that PBS develop a way to secure existing e-PMs and set standards for applications that will come with future construction projects. They also recommend training managers on information security, the report states.

For example, PBS policy essentially makes construction project managers responsible for security without support from either GSA's Office of the Senior Agency Information Security Officer or PBS' Office of the Chief Information Officer, the auditors found.

PBS officials agreed with the recommendations.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Tue, Apr 6, 2010

GSA as an organiztion is and has always been disfunctional. This is one agency that should be scattered to the wind. It is so inbread with staff hirings, that it can't be fixed. Our Agency told GSA in the 90's not to put any of our security and construction information into their electronic systems. This was a constant battle with their uninformed staff.

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