California State Auditor
The California Department of Technology disputes many of the findings in a new report from the California State Auditor, the latest in a series of critiques of CDT since 2013. The Auditor offers recommendations for the department as well as the Legislature on how the state should enhance its security practices.
“The Judicial Council has made substantial progress in its procurement and payment policies and practices,” the California State Auditor reports. “In our most recent audits, the Judicial Council has consistently implemented all recommendations. As a result, the Judicial Council has strengthened its procurement and payment policies and practices.”
The delay likely will continue to hamper the ability of the State Controller’s Office to complete annual financial reports on time, which could eventually harm California’s credit rating and increase borrowing costs, the audit says.
A Techwire article this week stated incorrectly that the California State Auditor had faulted a number of state government departments and agencies for their handling of information security. The August report to which the story referred cited only the California Department of Technology on the matter of security; the other entities were included in the August report for other reasons. The original story has been updated.
The overseer of the department that oversees state government has retired. Now the question arises: Whom will Gov. Gavin Newsom name to replace Elaine M. Howle?
The California Department of Technology was cited in previous reports by the State Auditor’s Office for its “high risk” security posture.
The state auditor in 2019 urged the department to remove individuals’ Social Security numbers in mailed correspondence as a way to reduce the risk of identity theft. The target date for completion was this month, but the department now says it needs until April to finish the task.
Elaine Howle, 63, the state auditor for more than 21 years, has been the state’s independent voice, leading examinations of state agencies and winning both sharp anger and lavish praise from the Assembly and Senate members.
The state unemployment department got help from a contractor to assess the risks related to a change in eligibility for benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state watchdog’s findings point to problems with the Employment Development Department and the Financial Information System for California, and it says those are among the factors putting state government at risk.
The California Department of Technology has made gains in recent years, and it says a new funding mechanism for how the state pays for information security is expected to yield positive results.