State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released an audit of the Missouri WIC Information Network System. This system manages data for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — better known as the WIC program — which provides nutritional benefits to more than 90,000 participants. The report made recommendations for improvements in several areas to the program administered by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
“Better data security of state programs such as this helps protect taxpayer dollars and the personal information of program participants,” Auditor Galloway said. “I encourage DHSS officials to follow through on the recommendations of this audit to ensure those safeguards are in place.”
Authorized users of the MOWINS include department employees and employees from entities such as county health departments. The audit found that because user accounts of local agency employees who no longer needed system access are not always removed timely, MOWINS is vulnerable to inappropriate access to critical or sensitive resources or opportunities to impair system operations.
The audit also found that because user roles in the MOWINS are not adequately designed and, in some cases, poorly defined, some users have inappropriate access to the system. The department also does not have a comprehensive or up-to-date service level agreement with the division of the Office of Administration that provides information technology services. In addition, the department needs to fully document key security controls and regularly review the documentation.
A complete copy of the audit, which gave a rating of good, is available here.