State audit finds “significant deficiencies” within Office of Technology

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Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon’s office found “significant deficiencies” — such as allowing unnecessary access to folders containing sensitive and confidential information — in the Commonwealth Office of Technology.

The office is led by Charles Grindle, a longtime friend of Gov. Matt Bevin who got a $215,000 pay raise last year.

Harmon’s office released the first volume of its annual statewide audit of the commonwealth for fiscal year 2018, which ended on June 30 of last year, on Wednesday. The audit discusses significant deficiencies that concern the Commonwealth Office of Technology, which Grindle became the head of in October 2017, roughly three months after the fiscal year began.

Backup management

The Commonwealth Office of Technology “does not have a complete list of machines, files, or data currently being backed up,” according to a news release from Harmon’s office. It also lacked a complete list of all servers or machines it maintains for the state.

There used to be about 2,500 servers that didn’t have backups, although the Commonwealth Office of Technology has decreased that number to close to 2,000 servers and is working on an initiative that will ensure all servers are backed up, according to the audit.

Unsecured data

The audit also found that the office did not properly restrict access on certain servers, which “allowed unnecessary access to shared folders containing sensitive and confidential information,” Harmon’s news release said.

Grindle became the highest-paid employee in Bevin’s administration last year after he received a $215,000 raise, which bumped his annual salary up to $375,000.

Bevin said taxpayers were getting “a steal” with Grindle, a retired Army colonel who has earned two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree.

“I would defy any of you to find anybody in America, in any capacity in government IT (information technology), that knows as much as this guy does,” Bevin said last year.

A request for comment from the Finance and Administration Cabinet, which houses the Commonwealth Office of Technology, was not immediately returned Wednesday morning.

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Written by Morgan Watkins. Cross-posted from the
Courier-Journal via the Kentucky Press News Service.