To help ensure the independence and objectivity of IPO analysts working in the oversight and consulting division, CalTech should provide regular training regarding maintaining independence while conducting project oversight.
The Quarterly Training Plan needs to be updated to cover Independence including providing examples of situations and coaching to staff. Expected completion date is March 2018.
In working with California State Auditor (CSA), ITPOD had completed an updated version of the Principles and Expectations document with additional content on the definition and subject of "independence". This updated document will be forwarded to CSA for closure of this recommendation.
Although CalTech indicates that it includes the topic of independence at each weekly staff meeting and has adopted policy on independence, we believe that IPO analysts need regular training on independence since it is a critical and challenging aspect of them providing independent project oversight on IT projects.
ITPOD has established a Principles & Expectations document for all staff. (See attachment) Among a number of important expectations, this document states that ITPO managers must understand and maintain their independence while performing project oversight work. This is now provided to every new staff member and signed by both the staff person and their manager. ITPOD has also included the topic of "independence" as a standing agenda item in our regular weekly staff meetings on Friday. (See attachment) We encourage the staff to share their successes and challenges in maintaining their independence.
As noted for recommendation 5, the "Principles & Expectations" document lacks a definition for independence while performing IT project oversight.
Activity is progressing in developing a new training program for IPO analysts.
- Incorporate the independence policy into the new employee orientation module of the training program - not started
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.