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1997-07-12 00:00:00


Assessment Deadline Missed: Treasury, Defense



TECHWIRE (June 10) reported that the General Accounting Office told a Congressional panel that several agencies will not meet the June deadline for assessing their y2k problem. Among these are Treasury, Defense, Transportation, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Bear in mind that assessment accounts for about 1% of the overall cost and effort of any large-scale y2k repair. (See California's White Paper.)

Think about this. The Department of Defense will not make the cut-off. And Treasury. You know: the defense of the West and the central agency in the banking world's debt structure. The world rests on the U.S. military and U.S. Treasury debt, and both will not make it to phase 1: a tiny 1% of the solution!

But Salley Katzen, a lawyer who is in charge of the government's PR on this issue, calmly asserted: "I would characterize the first reports as showing that agencies have made a good start in addressing the problem."

(Are you personally ready to risk your future, and possibly your life, on the word of this government lawyer? Yes, you probably are. If you are not actively involved in this site's discussion forums, I think it is safe to say that you are quite willing to take this risk. Actions speak louder than words.)

She admitted that over 70% of the 7,649 mission-critical systems must be replaced or repaired. But she said the Clinton Administration is "confident that we will finish the work so the year 2000 computer problem will be a non-event."

But Joel Willemsen of the Office of Management and Budget was not equally optimistic. He raised the central issue: shared data that are corrupt, i.e., noncompliant. The article summarized his warning: "The government interfaces with hundreds, if not thousands, of external entities, not all of which may be Y2K-compliant on time."

Congressman Horn, as usual, warned that time is getting short. That, we can be sure, will not be any less true next month. Or next year. Or in December, 1999 -- the month that the Department of Transport has scheduled both its testing period and its completion.


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