July 19, 2011

Parliament on Monday approved the report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on the information technology systems of St. Louis Senior High School.

The report signed by Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah said the Committee had recommended that the school should seek technical assistance from the Ministry of Communications on its current computerization arrangement to ensure that they were in line with recommended good practices in IT service management whilst adequately meeting the needs of the school.

He said the Committee also observed that there was still no technical documentation on how the application of the school’s IT system had been configured.

This lapse in the opinion of the Committee would render the maintenance of the application very difficult should there be a change of a hardware or software, he added.

Mr Kan-Dapaah also noted that the management of St Louis should contact the Ministry of Communication through the Ministry of Education for technical guidance and urged all educational institutions to consult the Ministry of Education before undertaking any computerization exercise in the future.

He said the recommendation was as a result of weaknesses observed in the management of the school’s IT systems.

These included the absence of an information system strategy approved by senior management, poor control over user access to data, the absence of the necessary technical documentation on installed IT applications and the absence of the back-up systems for ensuring continuity of the school’s operations in the event of any system failure.

He said in line with the efforts to get the public sector abreast with the advancement in information technology some pre-university institutions in recent times resorted to the computerization of their systems to improve upon their service delivery and St Louis was one of them.

Mr Kan-Dapaah said in accordance with sections 11(1) and (3) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), the Auditor-General conducted an audit of the Information Systems of St Louis Senior High School to review and approve the controls and procedures operated by management to ensure that information was reliable and the continued integrity of the schools critical systems was safeguarded.

He said it was also to assess the effectiveness of the overall management control over the IT function within the school.