The results of the half-year investigation of the controversial software SpectorSoft are in, and the results are leaving more questions than answers, reported Imperial Irrigation District management Tuesday.
Several hundred copies of the Internet-monitoring software were purchased in 2005 and found on a computer earlier this year. Worries arose about whether that software had been used to spy on district employees. The discovery of the software prompted an investigation of the entire Microsoft Exchange Server, the e-mail system for the district.
The independent assessment showed there was no definitive evidence to indicate the software program was used within the Information Technology Department to monitor employee communication, General Manager Kevin Kelley said.
There were a few cases, though, when district employees’ calendars were accessed by employees in the IT Department, but those employees said it was within the course of their work and not improper, according to the report given to the board and public. Many interviewed as part of the investigation were not sure about district policies related to issues of accessing the calendars and e-mails of other employees, according to the report given to the board and issued to the public.
“The ideal outcome of this assessment would have been to allay any concerns about the integrity of the internal communications platform at IID but, as I sit here today, I cannot represent to you that I have that level of confidence,” Kelley said.
“Alternatively, had the assessment uncovered irrefutable proof of wrongdoing within the IT Department, those responsible would, most assuredly, have been brought to account,” he continued. “Instead, we expended time and resources to end up essentially where we started, that is, with more questions than answers.”
The investigation, which began in May, indicated that SpectorSoft had been installed on one “test” computer, which had been destroyed. The actual CD with the SpectorSoft program had also been destroyed in April.
It was unclear whether one of the IT employees ever accessed the SpectorSoft program, according to the report. One of the computers analyzed had reference that indicated at some point the software or a related PowerPoint presentation had been downloaded onto it.
There was not, however, sufficient evidence to establish what caused those references to be on the computer, according to the report.
The formal reports from Navigant Consulting and Larsen AVR Group Inc. are confidential and can’t be released to the public as they deal with issues concerning individual employees, according to the memo to the board from the General Counsel’s Office.
Here are three things that came out of Tuesday’s IID Board of Directors meeting.
1 — Staff updated the board on the status of the not-yet-floating energy cost adjustment rate, where about $8.577 million has been over-collected from July through October.
2 — The district board approved a memorandum of understanding to participate in a reverse 911 system.
3 — The board approved, with a 3-2 vote, a new purchasing card policy, with Directors Jim Hanks and Matt Dessert voting against it because they said more needed to be defined on what can be purchased.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at email@example.com or 760-337-3441.