The Ministry of Finance purchased 5,900 licences for the State Treasury Integrated Information System, but it did not use one third of them
Press release on audit No 21/05 – 21 March 2022
The Supreme Audit Office examined how the Ministry of Finance (MoF) acquired, operated, and developed the ‘State Treasury Integrated Information System’ (STIIS) between 2015 and 2020. This system is a public finance management tool, it contains state accounting information and also serves for drawing up the state budget. The auditors found that the Ministry of Finance was not always effective in using software licences associated with the operation of the STIIS, and that the Ministry had not been able to introduce the single electronic identification system for civil servants by the initial deadline of 2019. Moreover, delaying the decision to migrate to the new STIIS platform poses a risk.
The basis of the STIIS is formed with the architecture of the company SAP. In order to ensure the operation of the STIIS, the Ministry of Finance has purchased a number of software products since 2008, for which it paid a total of CZK 933 million by the end of the audit. The SAO found that in the audited years 2015 to 2020, the MoF did not use on average 28% of the approximately 5,900 software licences purchased, i.e., around 1,600 licences. The auditors calculated that the MoF paid at least CZK 10.5 million for the maintenance of the unused licences during the period under review.
In 2019, the MoF managed to negotiate a reduction of the number of licences by 400 pieces, but this was under the condition that it would acquire software, in order to ensure the compliance of the STIIS with cybersecurity requirements, for over CZK 94 million.
Overall, in the audited years 2015 to 2020, the MoF paid over CZK 365 million for the maintenance of all STIIS-related software.
The introduction of the single electronic user identification system is also linked to the STIIS and the MoF has committed to it as part of the system’s development plan. The aim of the system is to allow civil servants to be easily and uniformly identified by electronic means when working with public administration information systems. Initially, the uniform identification was to be completed by the end of 2019. However, the MoF did not meet the deadline and postponed it to the end of 2022. Its introduction is one of the objectives of the “Information Policy of the Czech Republic”, which is part of the Digital Czech Republic programme.
The auditors also focused on the functioning of the service desk. It serves for STIIS users to report various errors and other problems they may encounter while working with the system. The SAO found that the MoF did not monitor consistently whether these error reports were processed by the service desk operator in accordance with the contractual procedures. This makes it difficult for the MoF to evaluate incorrect or delayed resolution procedures by the contractor and to impose penalties if necessary.
For the current STIIS architectural solution based on one of the specific SAP platforms, the contractor expects to terminate its support by the end of 2027. Until the end of the audit, the MoF did not decide how to deal with the transition to a new platform. The SAO points out that postponing decisions on a future technical solution for such a robust IT system may lead to time constraints in the award of a public contract and thus jeopardise the economy of the chosen solution.
Supreme Audit Office