Koskinen Lies Again: Skews Percentages

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Posted to CSY2K As:

Government Skews Results Again By Dropping Number of Mission Critical Systems

"The agency said last month that roughly 60 percent of the government's 6,696 most important computers are compliant."


I know that most of you are not paying any attention at all to what is going on.

The original estimate of Mission Critical Systems was 7,800 out of over 75,000 Federal systems. Don't any of you remember what has transpired, at all? Then, they skewed their progress by saying that they only had 7,300 mission critical systems. NOW, they say that they have 60% of all mission critical systems done. How did they accomplish this 60% percent? Simple, they lowered the number of Mission Critical systems once again down to only 6,696 systems.

Look at the FACTS: Actual number of Compliant systems

March 1998: 7800 M C systems 27% compliant 2106 September 1998: 7300 M C systems 40% compliant 2920 January 1999: 6696 M C systems 60% compliant 4017

In actuality they have remediated about 1900 more systems since March of last year although the percentage of completion figures are badly skewed because they have substantially reduced the number of mission critical systems periodically. (I am not arguing here what is or is not actually mission critical and it is NOT a part of this argument)

The figures show that they have remediated 1900 more systems but have over 2000 to go. AND THAT DOES NOT EVEN INCLUDE TESTING. AFTER the coding is done the full scale integrated testing could begin. But this schedule leaves NO time for such proper tests at all. They would be coding down to the wire with no year for testing or any proper testing .

If you are paying attention at all you will see the number of mission critical systems will shrink again down below 6696. They have now dropped the number of mission critical systems down below 9% of the TOTALITY of Federal Government systems. Less than NINE PERCENT.

"The OMB had set Sept. 30 as the deadline for all agencies to have their mission-critical systems renovated."

They missed that by a mile. Now the deadline is March.

You tell me how in less than 45 days they do another 2000 systems in order to meet THAT deadline? Yet Koskinen keeps saying they are on track. Of course they are. Keep lowering the bar by reducing what is mission critical and your performance percentages shoot up. Easy.

Koskinen is a DAMNABLE LIAR. He is not giving the true picture of the situation. He is playing with the numbers at the expense of people's lives.

These are the FACTS and the EVIDENCE. Polyannas ignore it.

They REFUSE to address the FACTS. I have given the FACTS. A publically demonstrated reduction in the amount of mission critical systems and they give the impression that their ACTUAL percentages of work completed has gone up while changing the standard of measurement TWICE. And they will do it again. And every one will sigh a huge sigh of relief that the government has finished ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of its mission critical systems after they have lowered the number yet again.

And so you are left to believe that not only will the Federal government run properly on less than a laughablee 9% of its systems but you are also supposed to believe that they will function properly without PROPER testing.

This does not even include the fact that the operability of the government systems are wholly dependent upon the interfaces with the states, conuties and municipal governments. And they are badly off track as a whole. Then there are the government vendors and other dependencies with which the Federal government is saddled.

AND it does not include the fact that the very best of remediation efforts will not come close to disclosing and remediating more than 85% of the defects in the code.

Any way you slice it, the Federal government will not be able to function in ANY capacity like it now does. In fact, it wll be incapacitated.


http://www.bergen.com/morenews/y2ksyst199901215.htm Paul Milne If you live within five miles of a 7-11, you're toast. ====================

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 21, 1999


Spin, Paul?

-- Vic (68rdrunneris@compliant.com), January 21, 1999.

Personally, I like toast.

What I find gruesome to contemplate is the charred, steaming, bloody corpse of our society with the final rictus of "Slick's" face on it and the echo of "Ko-skin-em's" voice issuing from its blackened and broken teeth.

Those of you that criticise Milne for his mild mannered ways, simply put, "Ain't seen nuttin' yet."

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 21, 1999.

There are a lot of Pollyticians who deserve the same fate, Hardliner.

-- Vic (rdrunneris@compliant.com), January 21, 1999.

My request for spin, by the way, was of Paul Davis, not Milne.

-- Vic (68rdrunneris@compliant.com), January 21, 1999.

What? No pollyanna response yet? Can I be the Pollyanna for now then?

Well Paul Milne, it's simple. If you took the time to breath in deeply the air outside your bunker, and relax, you'd realise that 91% of the gov. systems were not needed anyway. That's right. They had to spend our tax money on computer toys. You know as well as I do that the gov. only exists to waste our money.

And for the testing, laws of average is just as good as your stated 85%. Flip a coin, head or tails. 50% chance. Well that's good enough for me.

And I make a lot more sense than Paul Davis, don't I?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 21, 1999.


Here's another telling quote:


"In November 1998, (the GAO estimated) about $7.2 billion, triple the aggregated original assessment in February 1997," Walker said. "And we simply don't have enough data to say whether more will be needed."

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 21, 1999.

In response to Kevin;

Actually, I saw that bit. It is not true. The ORIGINAL estimate as portrayed by Sally Katzen, who was the head OMB honcho at the time, was ONE BILLION dollars. The present figure is more than SEVEN times the REAL original estimate. And the Present estimate is still off by Billions and Billions.

And remember that is for ONLY less than 9% of ALL of the systems.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 21, 1999.

This is the first time I have seen _non_ mission-critical numbers mentioned and it's way worse than I thought possible. Paul, can you tell me where you got that number (75,000)? Is there any way to tell the number for businesses, state governments, etc? To me, that is the hidden statistic we're all missing in this (Way to go, Paul!)

To hear numbers about percentages of completion (which is bull anyway because it doesn't represent the work, just the systems) often belies the fact that it's only mission-critical, whatever that means today... of course, tomorrow it'll probably mean something different.

(Hello... Vermont Castings?)

-- Brett (rogersb@steelworksinc.com), January 21, 1999.


I also remember hearing about nine months ago that the U.S. government would have to spend $30 billion dollars to fix its systems. That estimate has been quietly dropped.

Whose estimate was that $30 billion figure?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 21, 1999.

Thanks for the post... I have noticed that they appear to be playing with the numbers. Does anyone have a link with the original number of mission critical systems in 1997? I cannot locate it.

I believe that it was about 8500. Now it is about 6600. That is about a 20% reduction in the number of systems. It is easy to increase the % of completion if the number of mission critical systems is decreased. Accountants are required to explain such changes. Otherwise, it just looks like you are cooking the books.

-- Jane (Jane@doe.com), January 21, 1999.

Kevin, Way back in december of 1997 I stated that the amount of money necessary would easily exceed 30 billion. An that was way back in the days before notions of triage even surfaced. We were still talking about ALL systems. And I was even way off at that. I have read some of my old posts saying that 50 billion would not be enough.

The other side of the coin on these badly skewed statistics is that a great deal of what is called compliant ALREADY was compliantt by itself or required minimal work. This skews the percentages once again. Not in terms of total work but in trying to extrapolate how much they can do in the time remaining.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 21, 1999.

HELLO?!?!? IT DOESN'T MATTER!!! My theory is this: unless ALL computer systems are compliant, they are ALL toast. Even if your system is compliant COMPLETELY, if it interacts at all with another system that is not COMPLETELY compliant, there is a very real risk of corrupted data, etc. being sent back to your preciously compliant system, thus messing things up for it! That is the problem within the problem--the complex interdependencies that are going to cause that fun little domino effect. In other words, I think all this bally-hoo about who is compliant and who is not is a waste of time. It *will* be a 7-10, it is WAY too late for it to be anything else. Get to preparing. Kellie

-- Kellie (bill_n_kellie91@hotmail.com), January 21, 1999.

WHAT will we do without the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or the Consumer Price Index? Oh, dear, oh, dear.

-- curtis schalek (schale1@ibm.net), January 21, 1999.


Thanks for your excellent memory recall and analysis. You are providing an excellent service to the public. I have over 35 years of project management experience and am currently working on a major Y2K project. I can tell you with a high confidence level that we (the collective we) are not going to make it. I believe the Federal Government is trying their dammest to keep the masses calm, and at the same time, trying to deal with it, on a low key basis. I would love to be a fly on the wall in some of their planning meetings. I'm sure the GI's are frustrated by the DGI's and vice-versa.

In addition to working as a Y2K project management consultant, I've spent over 500 hours researching Y2K. I strongly suggest others do thier own research and then make thier own conclusions. This issue is way too important to take anybody's opinion as fact.

However, on the other hand, you Paul, are doing an excellent job of bringing the facts to this forum. Don't lose your cool and hang in there-we need more folks like you.

Bill Watt

-- Bill Watt (wtwatt@sprynet.com), January 21, 1999.

I also remember that back in 1997 the original number of federal "mission-critical" systems was 8,500. So we've had more than a 21% "reduction" in the number of such systems (DoD alone cut hundreds).

Re "progress": don't forget that it's human nature to put the really tough stuff off until the end and that programmers often lament that you spend 90% of your time being 90% done (which might be the FAA's motto these days).

As for the total number of federal computer systems, I've also seen numbers in the 73,000-75,000 range. (Your mileage may vary, depending on how "systems" are counted; DoD, in particular, gets very creative.) I've been wondering very much about what in hell is going on with all those supposedly "noncritical" systems--what are they doing, how many are linked to "critical" systems, how many are being fixed, etc. Somewhere, once upon a time, I saw an estimate that 50% of such noncritical systems would be fixed, but that sounded like a number somebody pulled out of the air. I also wonder about all the "noncritical" systems in the private (business) sector.

Finally, the $30 billion estimate for total Y2K repair of federal systems (including presumably all noncritical systems) was originally given by Howard Rubin, one of our top computer scientists and the man who originally bent the ear of Bill Clinton and Al Gore on Y2K.

-- Don Florence (dflorence@zianet.com), January 23, 1999.

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