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1998-03-09 20:57:05


US Treasury May Not Meet Deadline, Says Rubin



The United States Treasury Department, whose debts are held by the world banking system, may not meet the y2k deadline, according to Treasury Secretary Rubin.

This calls into question the world's financial markets. Nevertheless, they yawned.

This is from C/NET (March 6).

* * * * * * *

Just weeks before the Office of Management and Budget releases its latest report on the federal government's progress on Year 2000 preparedness, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin yesterday warned a House subcommittee his department may not be able to fix its computers before the end of the millennium. . . .

Rubin made his comments before the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government. He was requesting funding to replenish department budgets drained earlier in the fiscal year to address the Y2K remediation efforts in his department.

If the additional funds arenít found, Rubin warned, the Treasury may not be able to remedy the problem before the turn of the century. "We have identified close to $200 million in additional needs in the current year that must be funded if we are to complete the fixes in time." . . .

The millennium bug stems from decisions by programmers in the 1960s to save memory space by using only the last two digits of a year instead of all four when referring to the date, a kind of shorthand that programmers continued to use until very recently. But when 00 comes up for the year 2000, many computers will view it as 1900 instead, causing widespread problems.

After his request before the committee, a spokesman from Rubin's office was quick to point out that the fiscal 1999 supplemental budget proposed to Congress by the administration includes an additional $250 million that could be used to fund the requirements. However, she admitted the funds still need to be approved by Congress.


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