Portfolio Offices
December 2010


4. OVERALL OBSERVATIONS – INFORMATION SYSTEMS

4.1 Support for Decision Making and Accountability

Information from departmental systems is used to monitor Portfolio Office performance and to support accountability.

Management requires reliable and timely information on which to base decisions. A significant amount of that information comes from computerized information systems.

Portfolio Office management receives regular financial reports. These are reviewed by portfolio personnel to verify their accuracy and ensure that portfolio costs are accurately accumulated and controlled. As noted earlier, the reports are approved by the ADM/ADAG.

The Portfolio Offices also monitor resource levels (indicated by the Salary Management System) and the utilization of departmental personnel in the LSUs (from iCase reports). iCase reports are used to monitor case files by client, overtime spent on a case, and lawyer timekeeping per case. The Portfolio Office sends reminders to LSU heads if lawyers’ time is not being correctly reported (i.e. time not submitted or follow-up questions not answered).

It is our view that the Portfolio Offices are using information systems appropriately.

4.2 Support Received from IMB

The three Portfolio Offices examined report receiving satisfactory support from IMB.

IMB provides technical support for departmental staff including Portfolio Offices through its Help Desk. The Portfolio Offices told the audit team that they receive satisfactory levels of support from the Help Desk, which can be contacted by email or telephone.

4.3 Security of Information

The three Portfolio Offices examined have satisfactory controls to protect the security of electronic information.

Access controls should ensure that access to systems and data is restricted to authorized individuals.

Access to departmental systems is controlled physically and logically. Individuals can only enter each Portfolio Office with a valid pass or an escort. For new employees, either the ADM or the portfolio’s business office must authorize specific system access (via a user ID and password), depending on the employee’s security level and the required tasks of his/her position. When employees cease employment with the Portfolio Office, procedures are in place to ensure that their system access is revoked.

The audit team is of the opinion that the physical and logical controls used to protect the security of electronic information are appropriate.

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