Queensland auditor issues disaster recovery warning

Some state government departments lack DR readiness, audit finds

Queensland government departments should boost their disaster preparedness, according to a report released today by the state's auditor-general.

The audit assessed the disaster recovery processes of Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM), Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) and Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG).

The DTMR and DNRM both have disaster recovery plans. However the audit noted that not all DTMR business units have defined the maximum time to recover key systems, and the DNRM "does not have formal processes to ensure that its key service provider regularly tests the infrastructure"

The other two departments have "notable gaps" when it comes to DR, the audit said.

"The ... two departments cannot be confident that they will be able to restore their critical functions within acceptable timeframes," the report stated.

"This suggests that these departments are not prioritising activities relating to planning for disruptive events."

Individual business areas in the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation have their own DR plans but there is a lack of central oversight of disaster recovery and different levels of DR maturity throughout the department, the report said.

"Two out of seven business areas do not have an updated IT disaster recovery plan," the report stated.

"Those business areas that have a plan have not tested it. Therefore, the department cannot be assured that its response to a disaster will be planned and co-ordinated."

DR recovery targets are not specified in the department's agreements with IT service providers.

"The Department of Justice and Attorney-General does not have up to date and ready for use disaster recovery plans," the report stated.

"In addition, it does not have a facility to test recovery plans for business information systems."

However it noted that the department "has an improvement initiative for disaster recovery planning and this activity has reached the final delivery phase."

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