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Summary and Comments

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1997-11-08 13:51:43


All Systems Must Be Both Y2K Compliant and Coordinated



Congress was warned on Novermber 4 about the threat of compliant computers that are not coordinated with other compliant computers. This assumes, of courtse, that there will be significant numbers of compliant computers. It also assumes that entire systems will not break down because of imported data from noncompliant computers. It also assumes that systems will not break down because of the exclusion of noncompliant computers.

The problem is, this task looks impossible to achieve in 2 years. Yet because of the many assumptions, this is an optimitic report.

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Electronic exchanges of files and data underlie numerous transactions among countries, between trading partners and between allies. Failure to"synch up" date handling approaches could arguably cause widespread havoc in the operations of government. Mutual certification involves testing within the government data exchange community to verify partner compliance. Issues here require the setting of test standards; a definition of certification; a definition of compliance and enforcement; the creation of a recommended four-digit date exchange protocol; and agreement on a common schedule for testing, including a "drop dead" date to trigger contingency plans.


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