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Treasury moves to boost Ifmis security

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. file PHOTO | NMG
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. file PHOTO | NMG 

The Treasury has moved to secure the software used to run the country’s financial system which has been deemed vulnerable to manipulation.

The Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) has undergone review and improvement on experts’ recommendations, the Treasury said on Tuesday.

The Ifmis has been at the centre of corruption claims in some of the largest graft syndicates to hit Kenya in recent years, with Auditor-General Edward Ouko recommending improvement.

“The National Treasury through the Ifmis department has implemented an enterprise class security system that protects the entire Ifmis environment (Oracle E-business suite, the hyperion planning and performance system), oracle databases and Ifmis web applications,” said the Treasury in a tender notice posted in the dailies.

“The solution comprises data centre, LAN switches, network and security management system and network security devices,” it added.

And now the Treasury has invited firms to provide a secure infrastructure for the revamped Ifmis.

“The Treasury wishes to receive expressions of interest from qualified bidders for the support of the above Ifmis network and security infrastructure, in both the primary and secondary data centres,” said the Treasury in the tender notice.

“The bidders will be required to demonstrate how they will ensure effective incident management and risk mitigation, protection of critical information and assets (and) security from advanced threats and risks.”

The Treasury said the security configuration is meant to provide the Ifmis environment with “high security” in line with industry standard for confidentiality of the data held in Ifmis… (and) integrity of the data held in Ifmis.

“Security of the Ifmis system is currently one of the top strategic and operation risks for the National Treasury. The National Treasury thus desires to manage both known and emerging security issues, in line with evolving threat landscape and emerging technologies,” said Treasury.

The system was installed to improve accountability in the management of public finance by former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru ((now Kirinyaga county governor) when she was at the Treasury. Events surrounding the corruption claims saw Ms Waiguru resign from office.

But IFMIS has been on the spot for allegedly abetting graft against its intended purpose.

Police investigations in 2016 established how hundreds of millions of shillings were siphoned from the National Youth Service (NYS), after entries for payment through the system were manipulated by adding zeroes on all the transactions, resulting in the theft of close to a billion shillings.