IG pans DHS' plans for IT recovery

The Homeland Security Department's IT systems are not adequately prepared for disaster recovery, according to a new report from the department's acting inspector general, Richard Skinner.

Fifteen of 19 IT facilities re- viewed either had no recovery sites or their recovery sites were not fully operational, the IG found.

'The inability to restore DHS' critical IT systems following a disaster could have negative effects on the performance of mission-essential functions,' the IG said.

Planning documents for continuity of operations also were inadequate, with deficiencies in 25 of the 31 documents reviewed. Thirteen DHS contingency planning documents 'had not been finalized' to date, the IG said.

To remedy the problems, the IG is recommending the department implement an 'enterprisewide disaster recovery solution.' The department should require that new IT systems include disaster recovery capabilities, and that recovery planning and documentation should be finished.

In their written response, included within the IG report, department officials agreed with the recommendations. To read the report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 440 in the GCN.com/box.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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