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1998-01-13 10:08:30


New York State Faces a Crisis, Says Official



H. Karl McCall, the State's Comptroller, has warned about y2k.

The State plans to hire an independent auditor in January.

It plans to set up a committee in March.

That leaves until December to finish everything and be ready for testing.

Any bets? Yes. Tens of millions of bets -- by the residents of New York who sit there, unaware of what they are facing. The betters say, "No problem; the programmers will make the deadline." That's why people betting the other way can still get good odds. They can still sell their urban homes and get out . . . maybe out of the state.

* * * * * * *

The state of New York's Office for Technology plans to hire an independent auditor in January to review the state's preparations for resolving year 2000 software problems, technology office officials said.

Plans call for the audit, commissioned by New York's interagency Year 2000 Steering Committee, to be completed by March, said Camaron Thomas, director of the Office for Technology, a 30-person agency responsible for coordinating the approach state entities take to resolve year 2000 issues. It was previously known as the Governor's Task Force on Information Resource Management. . . .

In a press release issued in November, McCall, a Democrat, said, "Unless significant progress is made quickly to solve the state's year 2000 computer problems, New York is facing a potential crises in the delivery of government services ranging from the operation of public transportation systems, to the monitoring of air and water quality, to the operation of life support systems in public hospitals."

"Although time is running out, the state and local governments are just waking up to the extent of the challenge," McCall said. . . .

The Office for Technology estimates that strict year 2000 conversion work will cost $250 million, excluding the replacement of major systems such as the Office of the State Comptroller's payroll project. . . .

New York's year 2000 conversion effort is tough to coordinate by virtue of its size and scope of operations, said Thomas Davies, vice president of state and local consulting for the market research firm Federal Sources, McLean, Va. No comprehensive study has been done on the cost of resolving the state's year 2000 problems, Davies said.


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