Angry California legislators blister new state IT head : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Don't know if anybody's posted this here (didn't see it). If it's already here, my apologies. It's the latest from California. You can go straight to the Chronicle article; if you go to our page, you can get the stories leading up to this as well. FYI... ------------------------

Angry California Legislators Blister State's Y2K Czar; Ramifications Of Failures Called "Horrendous"

(San Francisco Chronicle)

The latest chapter on what appears to be a near-total Y2K mess in California (the nation's largest single state economy, by the way, if memory serves). For the previous stories, click here. Today's installment: state legislators angrily interrogate the new head of the Department of Information Technology:

**At a joint Senate and Assembly committee session on Y2K preparedness, Elias Cortez, Governor Gray Davis' new director of the Department of Information Technology, said he plans to ``establish goals'' and ``reprioritize'' his agendas so he can change the way his office is getting state agencies to make their computers ready for the Year 2000...

**No matter what he said, it was clear that several legislators were finding it difficult to believe that the department is doing anything realistic to help solve the state's potential computer glitches...

**``It's very difficult for us,'' said Assemblywoman Elaine Alquist, D- Santa Clara, ``when we have a thorough report from a fine state auditor that's in direct opposition to the Department of Information Technology. What is DOIT going to do in the next 310 days? Or even the next 15 days? We have 17 programs in 14 departments that are not ready to go. The ramifications of this are horrendous, and we need assurances this is going to be dealt with.''

**Cortez replied that ``we've launched three detailed studies and are looking for a vendor who can do an objective review,'' but Senator John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, asked why they need somebody now, when the department hired someone a year ago to do the same thing...

Stay tuned; this is one very serious situation.

-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (, February 25, 1999


OOPS! Somehow I screwed that last one up... (obviously). It's still readable, though... Anyway, here's the hotlink to our page (with the previous stories)


-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (, February 25, 1999.

Oh dear. So many ppl crowded into California! The melting pot will meltdown. At least it's not so cold in wintertime in SoCal. Not nearly enough water. Diane, Michael Taylor, Mac, ya'll, bring your long johns 'n we'll make a place fer ya'll here. Cascadia has Y2K problems but not so severe as Callie. Came out in news today that Washington & Oregon have already um, made certain "m" contingency plans, which Ashton & I told ya'll about here at the beginning of November. But we do have a chance to survive, so come before the hordes of parched Californians and we'll find you a perch. Yikes!

Thanks, once again, Drew, for your timely reporting. Whew!

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-- Leska (, February 25, 1999.

Drew, Pam G. and I both attended that meeting and have written about it in thread:

When one takes into account the different methods used by DOIT and the Auditor's office their reports both lead to the same conclusion: Calif is in very deep trouble.

A story can be written about Senators grilling either Mr. Cortez, or Mr Sjoberg, and that story will only pander to the public at large who enjoy seeing a high and mighty y2k Czar or Auditor twist in the wind.

The DOIT quarterly used Wilson's team's metrics. Both the DOIT and Auditor's reports use self reported figures. While it is true that there was an independant auditor brought in a year ago, according to Davis's mouthpiece, that company was not charged with the particular job that the Senators in Committee thought it was charged with. Most interesting was that none of the new appointees had even heard of this company, and that Davis's mouthpiece (sorry I don't have his name - Pam G. can you help out here?) gave info that directly contradicted what Sen Vasconcellos was told in testimony last year regarding that company. This prompted the Senator to bring up Perjury and ask the extensive audience if any had been involved in that dept in the former administration, causing some quiet nervous laughter, but no one volunteered either.

The real story was that Wilson and Co. has ignored y2k for years. The real story, imho, is that one of the Budget committee members revealed in passing that depts have been granted unlimited y2k budgets for the last, two (if I heard right) years! The real story is that DOIT had a staff of 5 (!) people working on y2k until this year, and now is that personnel shortage being remediated by Mr. Cortez.

The most pertainent story for Californians is that there are huge sections of govt which haven't a chance to finish their mission- critical mainframe work, let alone their embedded chip work or their near-mission-critical systems. It would seem than Contingency or Business Continuity Planning is behind schedule. It would seem that Emergency Services as outlined by Mr. Jones is woefully unprepared to deal with the scale of the probable y2k tragedy, nor is there yet money allocated for large scale CPs.

It really doesn't matter which report one looks at, the news is bad in both.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, February 25, 1999.


Thanks- I missed that (I saw the previous one about the hearings, but not the second thread). Very interesting; looks like a good job on your part. Incidentally, although I've been known to take notes at meetings myself, anyone who's really serious should use a tape recorder. Lets you keep concentrating. You seem to have done a good job from memory (my aged mind wouldn't work so well :)

The PG&E-Intel situation is most interesting. That said, I've talked to IT people who tell me they can't guarantees from anyone about anything, so the PG&E situation with Intel is not unique.

On another front, you know, someone out there in California could literally set up a Web site for California updates. It looks like it's going to be a hopping place.

-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (, February 25, 1999.

Sorry, Mitchell, the guy's name wasn't on the agenda and I didn't catch it when they introduced him. I assumed he was the new communications director for DOIT, but I could be wrong.

I think the problems the Legislature will have getting the information they need about the state's y2k readiness are complicated by the fact that not only is the director of DOIT new, but most of the agency and department heads are new as well. It will take time for everyone to get up to speed about their department's y2k situation and time, unfortunately, is the one thing they don't have. Also, since this changing of the guard is kind of like a hostile takeover (Republican department heads are out, Democratic department heads are in), the transition between the outgoing and the ingoing department heads may not be particularly smooth.

-- Pam G. (, February 25, 1999.

Yes Drew,

And some of us may have to hop right out of here. Oregon looks better and better, Leska!


Hotlink ...

Today's California Senate Hearing on Y2K 000XSX

-- Diane J. Squire (, February 25, 1999.

Leska -

If you come across any decent IS positions in the classifieds, pass 'em along. 8-}] We visited some of my family in Cascadia over Thanksgiving and my son told me, "If we ever move, we gotta move up here."

Reading through this articles on the hearings is kinda tough. I do have to ask: where were Sen. Alquist, et al. for the 12-18 months? It's my sense that that committee was supposed to be reviewing Y2K remediation progress. Am I mistaken? If I'm not, where were they in all this? The last election changed Governors, but most of the senators have kept their seats and responsibilities. Where have they been all this time while the projects slipped further and further behind?

-- Mac (, February 26, 1999.

Mac, actually have seen some, plus saw one on csy2k for a Y2K remediator. eMail me and I'll send you URLs. The Silicon Forest has many opportunities for techies, geeks, Web sleuths and savvy graphic designers.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (, February 26, 1999.

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