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1998-04-21 10:10:48


Georgia Budgets $91 Million. Not Enough, Says Expert



The state of Georgia is going to spend $91,000,000 to fix y2k. It won't be enough.

This is from the ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE (April 20).

* * * * * * *

The state of Georgia just approved $91.8 million to fix computers to understand that the year 2000 is not 1900.

It might not be enough.

"State employees are working as hard as they can, but they got a late start and have a big problem," said Mike Cohn, a year 2000 (Y2K) consultant with Atlanta's MDY Inc. "They're going to have to spend like a drunken sailor to get this problem fixed in time."

Georgia has budgeted $152 million for the Millennium Bug, as it is sometimes called. But the state has allocated only three-quarters of that money. And just a fraction of that actually has been spent, according to State Auditor Claude Vickers. . . .

Cohn is not optimistic about the Y2K problem. He predicts that not only the state of Georgia, but many government agencies, will experience disasters come Jan. 1, 2000.

"It's starting to defy common sense now," Cohn said. "I personally think that most states won't get it done in time. The Internal Revenue Service doesn't stand a chance of getting it done."

Mike Hale, the chief information officer for the state of Georgia, said it's gotten to the point where it must be acknowledged that not every computer in Georgia state offices will be fixed in time.

State officials are in the process of determining what needs to be fixed first, classifying items as "mission critical," he said.

"Is our system of paying benefits to employees more important than collecting revenue?" asked Vickers. "If we can't collect revenue, that's a big problem."

Earlier this year, the legislature passed a law protecting the state from any lawsuits that might result from its computers misreading the year 2000 and the ensuing problems. . . .

"The state has multiple platforms, multiple languages and multiple vendors," Cohn said. "It's very tough for the state to get economies of scale, because there are so many different elements."

While not all Y2K problems will be fixed by 2000, the assessment process has forced the state to re-examine some old computer systems.


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