The e-procurement system IFMIS has been receiving some serious reactions from the Kenyan public online. IFMIS plays an important role in promoting openness and accountability in the use of public money to increase transparency and cut costs thus attracting domestic investment in Kenya.
According to feedback from social media platforms, a lot of people are concerned with the security of IFMIS, from whether there’s a backup of the financial system to chances of hacking of the system. However, information has been provided to help people understand that this system is secure and good for our country.
Kenya has been receiving delegations from the Philippines, Liberia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Zambia and Uganda among other countries, seeking to benchmark their public finance systems with Kenya’s IFMIS. This is proof that the implementation of IFMIS is indeed on the right path. Leaders from these countries have visited the National Treasury in a bid to gain helpful insight into the implementation of the e-procurement system in Kenya.
As for security, each user is uniquely defined in the system with a user name and a password. The IFMIS system has inherent checks and balances to ensure that no single user can carry out an end-to-end transaction. This process ensures security, accountability, checks and balances, and leaves audit trails at every point of action ensuring transparency.
With IFMIS audit trail capabilities, tracing which user carried out which transaction and at what time becomes easy. In addition, access to the system is role-based, for instance the role of say “accountant” can only perform functions associated with that role and no other.
Most complaints from media reports say IFMIS has no backup system, which is not true at all; backups are done through Veritas NetBackup software by Symantec and Oracle Secure Backups. There is a policy that stipulates that backup for the IFMIS system is done in its entirety in the database and application.
These backup files will be stored in tape drives, pillar storage and the external backup site. The backup files are kept away from the instance files server for security and to enhance business continuity. At the end of every calendar year, Full server backups are done on the IFMIS Servers.
In case the Primary Site or box requires maintenance, users are seamlessly switched over the existing Primary IFMIS system to Standby in less than 10 minutes and if there is a complete failure in the Primary site, an immediate failover is made from primary to standby system.