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Nissequogue moves toward computer use policy and plan to preserve data during disasters

Village of Nissequogue trustees plan to adopt a computer use policy to establish security procedures for the village's information and technology system and data in response to audit recommendations from the state comptroller's office.

The report released Wednesday -- after auditors from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office examined the village's controls for computerized data from June 1, 2013, to Oct. 31, 2014 -- also recommended designating an information technologies administrator to monitor the village's financial record keeping and adopting a disaster recovery plan to preserve data.

"I thank them for their points," Village Mayor Richard B. Smith said, adding that the state audits are "a great way to get some ideas about what is working elsewhere . . . that we can incorporate into our village operation."

The report found that the village treasurer had full administrative access to the village's financial software and could change users' access rights without oversight, creating "an increased risk that inappropriate transactions could be made in the computerized financial system and remain undetected."

Smith wrote in an April 27 letter to the state comptroller's office that the village has appointed the deputy mayor as the system administrator and had reduced the treasurer's access. In an interview, Smith said all five village trustees for years have reviewed and initialed each invoice the village receives before approval for payment.

Smith said that village trustees planned to adopt a computer use policy at a May 19 meeting.

State auditors also recommended that the village adopt a disaster recovery plan outlining records and data that to be preserved during a disaster, and steps to take in event of an emergency that would be tested and updated.

Smith said in the letter that a data backup system put in place in 2009 automatically backs up all electronic records every 15 minutes and maintains copies outside of the village for 30 days. The village also has adopted the Town of Smithtown's emergency management plan and Suffolk County's hazard mitigation plan, he said.

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