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1998-06-08 14:34:19


Indianapolis: $10 Million, and Few Programmers



Large cities are only now finding out about y2k. Indianapolis and Marion County estimate a $10 million repair cost. But they can't locate programmers. Wages keep rising.

They want a free fix. They can't get it. They were too cheap to spend the money when they might have fixed the problem, assuming that interdependent systems cam be fixed and made safe from reinfection, which I don't assume.

They have yet to budget the money.

This is from the INDIANAPOLIS NEWS (June 3).

* * * * * * * *

INDIANAPOLIS (June 3, 1998) -- Indianapolis and Marion County might have to spend more than $10 million to inoculate government computers against the "Millennium Bug," according to a briefing prepared for local officials. . . .

Marion County Clerk Sarah Taylor, a member of the Information Technology Board, said a preliminary study estimated the cost of the fix at $10 million to $20 million.

"I think it's a sensitive topic, because no one wants anything to go wrong," she said. "We want it fixed, and we don't want it to cost money. But guess what? It's not going to go away."

City officials are seeking the council's support in finding money for the computer fix.

The cost estimate is only a preliminary figure, those working on the problem said, based on industry standards for repairing the programming code in older systems, typically those most in need of year 2000 fixes. . . .

Some of those computers simply will be replaced or upgraded with newer equipment. Besides avoiding "2000" problems, some agencies will get the benefit of better computers or will get upgrades sooner than originally planned.

In other cases, programmers will use software tools to scan millions of lines of code, looking for sections that use dates. The cost is expensive elsewhere, too. The state of Indiana has budgeted $87 million for this year and next for its Year 2000 Project, said Dan Novreske, deputy budget director for the state. . . .

"Everyone's getting in a bidding war for the people who know how to fix this," he said. "If you know COBOL, they're offering enormous salaries. One of our analysts got an offer yesterday for $80,000."


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