Flint help me on this one!!!

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Flint can you give me some help understanding this concept, as a matter of fact Paul Davis or anyone else feel free to give your opinion. Why do some banks and companies say that they are y2k compliant without any fear of litigation? Yet other companies are so tight lipped about compliance that they say very little or nothing out of a total fear of litigation. I just don't understand. How can one company fear and another not? I must say there are people on this forum that call it like they see it and I like that, also I like the way Flint demands proof. Why because you have to! Tman

-- Tman (Tman@IBAgeek.com), February 22, 1999


I suspect that at no time are the banks in question sharing "ACTUAL DOCUMENTATION" of this claim. Also, I suspect that the statements have been carefully worded so that if you wanted to use them in court there are enough weasel phrases and weasel words to defeat you.


-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), February 22, 1999.

Noone is saying they're compliant! They all say they are prepared, which is a far cry from compliant. Any one that actually believes the absolute crap that is seeping out of government and big business is stupidder than me!


-- Duh! (duh@duh.com), February 22, 1999.

I think a lot depends on their lawyers. Some lawyers are lazy and try to avoid working by telling you not to do anything that exposes any part of the company to the public. One of my favorite quotes from Robert Ringer is that any project can be killed by a lawyer. Scott Adams advises killing other peoples projects by saying 'lets send it to legal for an opinion'. Some lawyers read the new laws, try to stay current, and feel some public responsibility. Their companies will make good statments. Others just don't.

Anyhow, that's my take on what's going on with corporations.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), February 23, 1999.

Paul probably has most of the answer. Arnold Trembley writes that his legal department, when they discovered he was posting MC's progress, first acted to shut him down. When they discovered that Arnold was actually painting a very glowing description (after all, they've run ALL of their code through 16 separate time-machine scenarios at last count), they changed their restrictions. He can continue to write about languages and operating systems and testing procedures, he simply cannot mention where he works (!) or criticize any vendor products by name. Arnold's reports are still interesting and useful, but not quite so much.

Others I've talked to have similar restrictions. I spoke of one person in manufacturing and his experiences. But I was not permitted to name his employer, and HE wasn't permitted to tell me the names of any specific products that needed to be repaired or replaced. Maybe they were worried that the vendors might sue; certainly they were concerned about vendor relationships.

I know these restrictions are frustrating for those involved. There are people who argue that if you can't name a specific device, you're blowing hot air. And you know exactly which devices (model, serial number, date of manufacturer, you name it) and aren't allowed to say.

I know that banks and utilities are more heavily regulated than manufacturing, and that the regulators are encouraging banks to be upfront and publish their progress (but they are not allowed to publish the results of regulator audits).

I personally suspect that many organizations, especially those with deep pockets, are acting to minimize their legal exposure on general principles. You want to be as positive as possible without providing any future judge any ammunition. Banks rely much more on public confidence than manufacturing, since they provide a service rather than a physical product.

Perhaps someone here like Troll Maria or Deano, who both claim to be fully compliant but can't say who they are, can provide a much more detailed explanation for this policy.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), February 23, 1999.

I think Paul nailed it. Part of my responsibility is releasing our test results to our clients. There are over 160 of them, consisting mainly of banks and mortgage companies. The requests I receive vary in nature from one client to the next. There doesn't seem to be a pattern. Some HAD TO HAVE THEM by the end of 1998, some HAD TO HAVE THEM by the end of January. It depends on whether it's a government audit, an internal audit or an audit being performed by a private 3rd party.

The FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council) is driving the banking industry audit effort nationwide. The FFIEC is made up of the OTS, OCC, FDIC, FRB and NCUA. We've been audited by the OTS and OCC from this group and both audits were TOTALLY different. One focused mainly on testing and the other focused on mainly contingency planning. Both lasted a week. We've also been audited by Keane, Inc - these guys were hired by our clients for an unbiased view of our plans and testing. They focused on EVERYTHING. All went well BTW.

There are several reasons for not going public with your results and compliance and they all have to do with lawyers and legalities. No doubt it, they're making it very tough to say anything right now.

When our clients request the results package, they must first sign a non-disclosure statement agreeing to keep the results to themselves and their auditors.

For once I think we're actually in agreement - lawyers suck!


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), February 23, 1999.

The thing that really drives me nuts is that the more compliant a company is, the more the lawyers seem to act to shut everyone up! I can't think of a reason unless some of the high level guys are trying to figure a way to leverage this into some sort of advantage. Lawyers drive me crazy!

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), February 23, 1999.

My latest bank statement had a slick 4 color y2k brochure with it. Never did they gurantee anything, juast pictures of lots of smiling people (2 or 3 talking on cell phones?) with lots of "we have been working on it, we have made great progress, we expect no interuptions, FDIC insures your account, etc... Needless to say, I keep one months' worth of expenses in my checking account and that will be it for the next ten months.

-- Bill (y2khippo@yahoo.com), February 23, 1999.

"Y2K-compliant" is like "water-resistant." It ain't water-PROOF, and it's only water-resistant until a heavy rain comes along.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 23, 1999.

Just a thought. As I understand it, if they were far enough that they could claim complaince in 'good faith' then they would be covered under the Readiness Disclosure Act. They have everything to gain. All a company had to do was convince the legals that the methodology and actions would be constued as reasonable by industry standards and make the announcement as a Y2K Readiness Disclosure. However, not many companies are at that point,


-- john hebert (jt_hebert@hotmail.com), February 23, 1999.

I watched an interesting case once. The defendent was accused of assault, and he confessed on the stand. The jury decided he was lying and didn't do it after all.

This was during the heart of the gas crisis, and the defendent owned the only gas station in town. The next nearest gas was 60 miles away. If he'd been guilty, the local gas station would have closed.

Maybe lawyers know things like this?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), February 23, 1999.

Now THAT's an interesting form of jury nullification, isn't it? "He goes to jail and I have to walk? Hmmmm.... NOT GUILTY."

Flint, wasn't there someone in c.s.y2k who recently posted a complete retraction of any and all statements re his company and Y2K? Had all the earmarks of being smacked around by Legal, as I recall.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), February 23, 1999.

Mac: from c.s.y2k last week:

"I hereby retract any and all statements made by me, in my name, or in press accounts using me as a source, concerning the personnel, projects, or remediation status of any specific company, including Zurich Insurance, its subsidiaries Universal Underwriters Group, Zurich Personal, Empire Insurance, Fidelity and Deposit, and Farmers Insurance, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its subsidiaries.

I will no longer comment publicly on the projects or status of these companies, nor answer inquiries concerning them.

Bill Hoyt "

-- a (a@a.a), February 23, 1999.

Thank-you your information has helped me to understand why there are two sides to this coin. You have to admit there is alot of spin on the coin also. It makes my head spin some days Tman...

-- Tman (Tman@IBAgeek.com), February 24, 1999.

Two things to remember about lawyers:

1. They are human, just like the rest of us. Well, okay, maybe not QUITE like the rest of us, but they still will have varying opinions from one to the next. Not all attorneys believe in the "any risk is excessive risk" scenario that causes some of them to adopt the "say nothing at any time" stance.

2. Unless they are representing you in active litigation, a lawyer's sole function is to offer advice. There is no rule that says the powers that be in a company (or you as an individual) have to follow that advice. Those companies that proclaim full readyness/compliance may have had counsel tell them to say nothing, but they decided to say something anyway.

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), February 24, 1999.

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