Bad Training at Issue in Gov. Accounting System

A new report released last week by the General Accounting Office finds that the accounting system running our nation's government is in peril due to a lack of security training of personnel and poor enforcement of security policies.

The Financial Management Services (FMS) arm of the Treasury Department is the agency responsible for operating the accounting and reporting system, as well as distributing money to Federal agencies. While the GAO found the FMS had made progress in outlining security issues--based on the GAO's 1998 findings--the agency still had a long way to go based on the 1999 audit.

For example, the audit discovered that routine items like passwords and user IDs were not managed properly--many even were given to users who had no need to access the data. The GAO also reported that the FMS did not have a contingency plan in place should something like a data recovery disaste occur.

An Adobe Acrobat version of the full report, 'Financial Management Service: Significant Weaknesses in Computer Controls' is available for downloading.

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