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1998-02-05 14:47:18


Century Standard: 4-Digit Year -- A Wee Bit Late in the Process



Sally Katzen, before she resigned as the Administration's PR lady for y2k, issued a letter to state and local governments. In it, she announced the agreement at the late 1997 summit. The summit agreed on as y2k standard: a full four-year date. This means that the technique known as "windowing" is not acceptable for inter-governmental data transfer. But because of its lower cost, windowing has been widely accepted. Repairs for years have been made using windowing.

Now what?

* * * * * * * *

DECEMBER 10, 1997



Sally Katzen, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Office of Management and Budget; John Thomas Flynn, Chief Information Officer, State of California, President, National Association of State Information Resource Executives

SUBJECT: Memorandum of Agreement between Federal and State Governments on Year 2000 Issues

This memorandum provides information on the agreements and decisions made at the recent State-Federal CIO Summit on the Year 2000 held in Pittsburgh on October 28, 1997.

The purpose of the Summit was to improve communication and coordination between Federal and State government information technology executives. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Year 2000 managers from 43 States and 21 Federal agencies attended. We are issuing this memorandum as the leaders of our respective delegations. . . .

Finally, addressing the Year 2000 computer problem does not end when an agency's own systems have been modified and tested. Agency computer systems exchange data with other systems, making the problem significantly more complex. A standard format can help assure that government systems exchange year information successfully in the Year 2000 and thereafter. Therefore, when addressing the Year 2000 problem, data exchanges between Federal and State government entities involving dates shall represent the year in a 4-digit contiguous format, unless there has been mutual agreement to a different format.

Please take whatever action is necessary within your agency or State to ensure that the policies stated herein are followed.


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