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1998-02-04 23:34:18


56% of Texas State Agencies Refuse to Answer



When it comes to year 2000 compliance, over half of the agencies are "no hat - no cattle."

This is from AUSTIN 360 (Jan. 27).

* * * * * *

Texas government won't have the exasperating -- and potentially crippling -- year 2000 glitch fixed in all computer systems when the millennium clock strikes midnight, lawmakers were told Monday.

Officials can't predict what trouble looms for Texas because 56 percent of state offices have missed deadlines to report how much progress they are making on eradicating the so-called millennial bug. . . .

State lawmakers were angered to learn more than 100 state agencies and universities are not filing progress reports to the Texas Department of Information Resources. They pledged to hold hearings every three weeks and to hand out "pass" or "fail" grades to state offices. . . .

Five key state agencies are considered "at risk" for serious year 2000 problems: Department of Public Safety, attorney general's office, Department of Criminal Justice, Teacher Retirement System and the Department of Health, which has not submitted a progress report. . . .

"All state agencies will not be finished by the year 2000," said Shannon Porterfield, director of the statewide year 2000 project. . . .

The Department of Information Resources reported that 105 agencies have been missing deadlines to submit year 2000 progress reports. Among them: Texas Water Development Board, State Board of Medical Examiners, Texas Commission on Human Rights, State Bar of Texas, Texas Ethics Commission, Department on Aging, Texas A&M University and several campuses of the University of Texas System. . . .

State efforts to correct the year 2000 glitch are hampered by high turnover among computer specialists, who are wooed by companies that can double or triple their salaries. The Department of Human Services needs so many computer workers it has considered training prisoners.

The Department of Information Resources had a 55 percent turnover rate last year among its computer specialists, Purcell said. At the Department of Human Services, the 513-person management information systems office has 65 vacancies, said deputy commissioner Diana Williamson.


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