CIPFA AUDIT CONFERENCE: IT – Growing technology dependence worries FDs.

Public-sector finance directors are becoming increasingly alarmed by the growing dependence on information technology within the profession, writes Kathy Greene.

Clive Holtham, professor of information management at City university business school, said the majority of FDs feared their jobs might be put at risk by technological developments, but were becoming increasingly dependent on systems which revolutionise the way the financial world works.

Speaking at CIPFA’s annual audit conference last week, Holtham said: ‘No area of society will remain untouched by the information and knowledge revolutions.’

Local authorities also fear the increased dependence will expose them to the risk of IT fraud. A survey conducted by the Audit Commission last year showed there were risks present in over 50% of organisations.

Diane Skinner, information manager with the District Audit, urged public-sector FDs to be aware of the effectiveness of IT security. ‘The major risks are viral infections, fraud, hacking, unlicensed software, pornographic material, private work, theft, misuse of data and sabotage,’ she said.

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