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1997-09-18 16:10:32


90,000 Items Missing


This brief report is from SCIENCE NEWS (Sept. 13). It says that the General Accounting Office has assessed what the Defense Department needs: an inventory of its systems. "If these problems are not corrected immediately, GAO charges, the Defense Department's efforts [at correcting y2k] 'will be at risk of failing.' "

[Note: the California White Paper estimates that the inventory process accounts for 1% of a y2k repair. Awareness is 1%. Defense has not made it to the inventory stage.]

GAO reports that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) relies on computers for managing military supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. It also supports 1,400 weapons systems. "Other agencies rely on DLA to manage almost $1 trillion worth of contracts."

DLA's computer recently removed 90,000 items from inventory in a y2k-related failure. Correcting the problem took 400 hours.

The DLA has 86 automated information systems with 39 million lines of code. The GAO notes that the DLA "has not yet taken the fundamental steps [for] ensuring the proper date information is passed between systems." Defense has not yet explained its plans for keeping y2k errors from spreading through its systems.

The DLA has no contingency plans if there is a failure. "Officials told us that they expect all their systems to meet their 2000 deadline and, for that reason, contingenct plans are not needed," the GAO reported.

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