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NEWS RELEASE · 29th April 2010
Office of the Auditor General
The provincial government's information technology systems are sufficiently prepared to recover from a localized event, but not from a major disaster, says British Columbia Auditor General John Doyle in his latest report: IT Continuity Planning in Government.

"The audit found that government recognizes the importance of planning for information technology disruptions and have a number of good practices in place," said Doyle. "However, there are several areas of IT continuity planning that could be improved, particularly regarding recovery from a major disaster."

The audit examined a sample of critical business functions in different ministries. All of the samples had adequate processes in place to allow for the recovery of required systems from minor localized disruptions, such as temporary power outages or equipment failures.

However, many government programs run on shared computing environments and are housed in shared facilities, which puts their recovery at risk in case of a major disaster. The interconnectedness of government systems also requires an overall strategy for prioritizing their recovery, something which is currently lacking. Each ministry using operating environments provided by outside service providers must also ensure the recovery of its own operating systems.

"Government is increasingly reliant on information technology, and shouldn't risk losing its tremendous investment and stored knowledge to a disaster, when some work now could mitigate this," said Doyle.