Bristol Harbormaster's computer to undergo forensic audit
Bristol Town Administrator Tony Teixeira is moving forward with a forensic audit of the harbormaster's office computer.
"What do you think is going to come out of this that will benefit the town," Town Councilman Halsey Herreshoff asked Mr. Teixeira, during an Aug. 28 meeting of the town council. "What is the risk versus the reward?"
Mr. Teixeira cited that the computer had no information on it when the town's information technology specialist tried to set it up for the current harbormaster's use.
"Also because of a public records request made by interim harbormaster (Matt Calouro) for records while he was a full-time employee of the department," said Mr. Teixeira, declining to disclose the nature of Mr. Calouro's request.
When Greg Marsili reported to work June 26 as the new harbormaster, the computer appeared to be "wiped of all documents," Mr. Marsili told council members in a July 11 department report.
Since then, Mr. Teixeira had requested that the town council commission a forensic audit on the computer to determine if any files are missing.
"My question is about the term audit," said Council Chair Mary Parella. "To me this is all about the computer and the hard drive, not financials. This is more of a forensic review. We're not looking at the department's financials."
Mr. Teixeira told council members that a forensic audit would provide a "legal audit trail of the actions taken, data recovered and conclusions reached."
The motives for the audit, he explained, were to determine if any information was deleted from the drive and if so, when; to recover any data that would be beneficial to the department's current operations; and to recover any data that would suggest the computer was used for anything other than town business.
"We are investigating to have those concerns addressed, for the welfare of the town," Mr. Teixeira said.
The reason for a lack of information on the computer, Mr. Calouro had previously explained, was due to Onlinemooring.com - the online database used by the department manage the harbor. All information relative to the database was provided to town officials, Mr. Calouro said.
The cost for the audit would not exceed $1,500, Mr. Teixeira said, and would take a maximum of four hours to complete.
He agreed to present the council with any information discovered as a result of the audit at a future meeting.