An object oriented tool monitors the step-by-step progress of security administration within an electronic work flow to implement access control measures, and security administration policies that may include additional checks and balances, such as second party review, escalated authorization requirements, and trusted audit facilities. A security administration architecture for distributed electronic data processing systems preferably includes a checkpoint object that provides uniform characterization of milestone or transition states in administration activity, and which may be inherited by or refined to an administration activity object. A checkpoint object manager that is instantiated as a trusted third party object manages the state progression of checkpoint objects. As a result of checkpointing, checkpoint objects are resumed with their state advanced, reversed, or unchanged by the checkpoint object manager as appropriate. The checkpoint object manager also assures that all checkpoints are logged and monitored, and that resumptions are authenticated.
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