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Summary and Comments

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Category: 

Power_Grid

Date: 

1998-05-15 16:08:18

Subject: 

U.S. Capitol: Local Company Hasn't Yet Assessed Embedded Chips

  Link:

http://www.house.gov/science/cohn_05-14.htm

Comment: 

The company that supplies the U.S. Capitol and the surrounding Maryland region has not completed its assessment of the embedded chips in its system.

This means that the replacement task -- the biggie -- has yet to begin.

They don't know how many chips are not compliant. They don't know if they are still available.

They have contacted the vendors who supply them with software. No word yet about what the vendors have said or done.

The company has 8,000 noncompliant systems.

A word on the cost of all this. We estimate that cost of our Year 2000 activities to be approximately $10 million, of which about $6.5 million is for corporate applications and $3.5 million for end-user and embedded systems. We anticipate changes in these estimates as we go along, especially as we complete our evaluations of embedded systems issues."

Other than this, things are OK. Politicians and bureaucrats need not fear. After all, they didn't have air conditioning or electrucity in Washington for most of its history.

* * * * * * * * *

Testimony of Potomac Electric Power Company at a Joint Hearing before THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Technology and Government Reform and Oversight Committee Subcommittee on Government Management Information and Technology on MILLENNIUM SHORT CIRCUIT: The Year 2000 Effect on Energy Utilities May 14, 1998

Kenneth P. Cohn, General Manager, Computer Services, Potomac Electric Power Company

My name is Kenneth Cohn. I am General Manager of Computer Services for Potomac Electric Power Company, which is located here in Washington and provides electric service to the District of Columbia and its Maryland suburbs. I have overall responsibility for PEPCO's response to the Year 2000 issue which includes the coordination of our Year 2000 plan and schedule. . . .

We began our formal Year 2000 effort in 1995 with a presentation to our Data Processing Steering Committee which is comprised of the company's senior management officers. In that presentation, we estimated the scope and potential cost of dealing with Y2K issues affecting our major corporate information systems. By 1996, we had completed pilot projects on five of our corporate systems, which we used as a way of confirming the accuracy of our ability to estimate the scope and cost of system conversions. . . .

As we see our job, we are to do everything we can to ensure full uninterrupted provision of electric service to our customers at the turn of the century in the most operationally efficient and cost-effective manner.

There are four aspects to our Year 2000 activities:

1. Corporate Applications: These are our large core business systems such as Customer Information, Human Resources, General Ledger. We determined that Year 2000 modifications to these systems would be analyzed, programmed and tested by our Computer Services Group, beginning in October of 1997.

2. Business Partners' Systems and Vendor Supply-Claim Verification. We deal with many vendors who provide products and services to our company. We have developed and are implementing a plan to obtain assurances from these enterprises that they were taking appropriate steps such that Year 2000 problems in their systems would not have any deleterious impact on us, or to determine appropriate methods to insulate ourselves from any such impacts.

3. End-User Computing Systems. Many areas within PEPCO had developed their own systems, data bases,spreadsheets, etc. that contained date- related calculations. We determined that each end-user organization would evaluate and modify their own systems, under our oversight.

4. Embedded Systems. This category, which has been much discussed in stories on the Y2K problem, includes equipment such as meters, control systems, telecommunications equipment and other facilities-based equipment such as elevators, each of which would have to be evaluated and modified, or otherwise dealt with, as required by the appropriate operational area, often in conjunction with the vendors of the products. Our inventory of these systems is complete, and the evaluation phase is nearing completion. We will incorporate the results into our plan as necessary.

Where do we stand today? Programming and testing schedules have been completed for over 100 corporate systems and approximately 8000 programs which have been identified as needing conversion. Several of our major systems have been reprogrammed and are in the testing phase. To ensure the validity of our testing we have partitioned our mainframe computer to create a Atime machine where we can actually advance the date and run the systems as if they were operational at various dates.

We have identified more than 200 end-user computing systems which need Y2K solutions and have completed cost estimates and conversion schedules for these systems. Our conversion plans and cost estimates for embedded systems will be completed within the next several weeks. We are also working with both vendors and industry consortiums to assist in evaluating potential problem areas and solution alternatives for embedded systems.

A word on the cost of all this. We estimate that cost of our Year 2000 activities to be approximately $10 million, of which about $6.5 million is for corporate applications and $3.5 million for end-user and embedded systems. We anticipate changes in these estimates as we go along, especially as we complete our evaluations of embedded systems issues.

In summary, we have an overall program for Year 2000, under which, we believe, we are doing all that we can to see to it that there is no interruption of electric service to our customers with the turn of the century.

Link: 

http://www.house.gov/science/cohn_05-14.htm

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