The SEATTLE TIMES (Sept. 18) reported the following bad news:
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In June, the federal government reported that 270 of its thousands of computer systems had been fixed to deal with the year 2000 problem.
This week, the feds said, 107 have been fixed.
In other words, the number of repaired systems has shrunk by more than half over a three-month period. . . .
It's impossible to tell from the way the data are publicly reported which agencies changed the status of systems previously reported as repaired. But departments that dramatically increased the number under repair include Agriculture (from 469 to 932), Energy (61 to 122), Transportation (132 to 408) and Treasury (66 to 239).
Steve Kolodney, the director of Washington state's Department of Information Systems, which is overseeing the state's Year 2000 effort, said the perplexing federal data underscore how "deeply complicated" fixing the problem is. . . .
In its report Monday, the government also increased the number of systems identified as mission critical - a computer system considered essential to carry out core responsibilities - by more than 900 since May, with the new number standing at 8,562 for 23 agencies, not counting the Social Security Administration (which reported its data as units of computer code instead of as systems.) The Treasury Department alone accounted for about a third of the increase, according to OMB's [Sally] Katzen.