KQ managers quizzed as to why sacked staff access airline’s data
03 November 2015, 21:29
Nairobi – The Kenya Airways (KQ) top managers were put to task by a Senate committee to explain why some sacked staff were not removed from the employees’ record and continued to access the airline’s data putting it at risk of witnessed financial crisis.
The KQ Information System Director, Kevin Kinyanjui who was accompanied by the Marketing Director, Chris Diaz, and the Human resource Director, Alban Mwenda had a hard time to explain why six sacked staff accessed the airline’s system for over six months, according to the Auditor General’s report.
The Senate Select committee inquiring into KQ financial woes presided over by the vice chair, Senator Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri) raised concern over the managers’ laxity in updating the airline’s records to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the information system.
“Having employees who have resigned or had their jobs terminated remaining active on KQs data system over some time is a serious issue. This might have contributed to information leakages on the airline’s operations. What is your password policy? paused Kagwe.
However, Kinyanjui in his response lashed out the possibility of the airline’s financial data having been leaked by employees who had ceased to be KQ’s staff.
“External auditors gave us an assurance that the affected accounts had not been used for any fraudulent activities,” said Kinyanjui.
He revealed that the six sacked employees; five who were in the country and one in Bangok, could not be removed immediately from the employees’ records because the airline operated on manual information system, hence a lot of time needed in updating the records.
Other Senators present included James Orengo (Siaya), Peter Mositet (Kajiado), Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and Hassan Omar Hassan (Mombasa).
They expressed fears that the current financial crisis which has almost brought the airline to its knees could be as a result of such weak computer systems.
Kagwe observed that in some instance, the auditor general’s report identified flaws in revenue collection due to disparities in invoices and sales.
“There was no matching between tickets raised and the revenue collected. If you can’t match invoices with sales, that is, the elephant in the room. It is very wrong when computer systems can’t talk to each other,” he said.
They also raised concern that KQ’s audit trails are not being maintained or reviewed regularly to detect emerging errors.
Kagwe further challenged the KQ’s management to re-look into their ticket pricing saying that high prices compared to what other airlines charged, were sending customers away.
“It is strange that when you are making massive losses, you are sending away customers,” said Kagwe.
The KQ managers asked the committee for additional one week to come up with comprehensive responses and accompanied by the airline’s Commercial Director to explain why KQ’s tickets are expensive compared to other airlines.
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