Enquiry Against PBTE System Analyst
A probe committee, while confirming unauthorized access to official data and misuse of official information by a Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE) system analyst, has recommended initiation of regular enquiry against the official under disciplinary rules.
The committee has also recommended announcement and enforcement of Data Access Policy by the PBTE. Besides, it has also called for undertaking from all staff members for fair usage of official equipment and other facilities.
The probe was ordered by PBTE Chairman following serious allegations the board’s system analyst, Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema, a BS-18 officer, in this year.
According to the probe report, a copy available with The News, the committee was assigned the task to examine the hard disk and a report about objectionable material, evidence of unauthorized access to the PCs under the use of other officers/ branches of PBTE and evidence of unauthorized data hacking.
As per the report, the probe committee was given approval to access official data by breaking the passwords as the System Analyst was not ready to provide the password or open the protected files.
“Most of the files contained objectionable material. Original files are still saved with passwords so their file properties may remain intact and cannot be challenged”, says the report.
According to the report, forensic principles were followed to conduct the probe as officer using the hard disk was the custodian of all official data being head of computer section. The report reads: “Keeping in view the principles of computer forensic and established cyber security rules, it was decided to take only those files which clearly fall in the category of unauthorized data and objectionable material.”
The hard disk having a capacity of over 149 GB contained 55046 files owing to which the probe could not be completed within stipulated time period of one week, it says.
The probe committee revealed that the hard disk had more than enough proof of unauthorized access to data of higher officers while it also possessed very confidential financial information which no body could hold on personal storage and which was meant to be saved only in the official system. The committee confirmed unauthorized access to data and misuse of official data by providing unauthorized access to outsider/press/ unauthorized employees. The report reads “Details of files show that system analyst (SA) did not fulfill his commitment as custodian of official data rather he served other people against the organization.”
The probe committee, comprising Salman Tariq, Head of Department, GCT Raiwind, and Muhammad Abdullah, Assistant Manager MIS Tevta Secretariat, unanimously recommended that regular enquiry under relevant disciplinary rules be initiated against Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema, System Analyst of PBTE, Lahore.
They also recommended announcement of Data Access Policy, saying the policy should be implemented through a monitoring and auditing system of official information.
When contacted, PBTE chairman Dr Shafiq said the probe report would be submitted to the board which, if satisfied with the probe, could appoint an inquiry officer.
To a question, he said Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema was still serving the PBTE but not in capacity of a system analyst.