Old data?

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In post http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000Yw9, Debbie (dbspence@usa.net) asked a question that ended up getting buried that I think merits some discussion.

"Is the utilities section based on old data (i.e. the Oct. 1998 NERC report)? ... I heard a comment to this effect on another forum."

I think I found the post she was talking about....

"Three things immediately became apparent:

1) The conclusions in the body of the report about Electrical Generation are based on old data, specifically the October NERC survey reports. Two generations of survey results beyond those used by the Senate report are now available.

2) Also, the conclusions on the Oil and Gas sector are based on old data, specifically the September 98 FERC survey.

Again, the latest FERC survey is available, and provides a strikingly different view of the situation.

3) The conclusions on Telecommunications seem to be based on more recent reports by the NRIC, ATIS and Telco Forums. The report states that "Currently, more than 80% of public network systems have been tested and are considered compliant".


When I go back and look at the January NERC report, the reported data is through November, but the Senate report utilities section talks about data through October. Is this just because it's the government, and they are notorious laggards, or is there more to this?

-- anon (anon@anon._), March 03, 1999


anon, thanks for following up. Since the posting was in the "GN is a Big Fat Idiot" forum, the implication is that had the gov only used newer data, all would look rosy.

Haven't had a chance to make my own analysis to see whether I can conclude same.

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), March 03, 1999.

This is the latest NERC report to DOE

And this is Bonnie Camp's analyses of that report which is worth a read.


-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), March 03, 1999.

Some more links:

The latest NERC data is at: Ja nuary Data It is an Excel Spreadsheet.

The information on the latest Oil & Gas Survey: API Report

Rural Electric Response to Senate Report: NRECA Response

DOE Response to Senate Report: DOE Response

Food Industry Info: FMI and GMA

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), March 03, 1999.

"When I go back and look at the January NERC report, the reported data is through November, but the Senate report utilities section talks about data through October. Is this just because it's the government, and they are notorious laggards, or is there more to this? " There is definitely more to this. The report points out the late start of the electric industry and uses the first NERC comprehensive report as benchmark for a perspective on the subsequent NERC reports and the rest of the senate report on electric.

[bold face theirs]"While the NERC surveys clearly show progress in August, September, and October, the question is whether there is sufficient time to complete Y2K remediation effort. The data presented in the NERC report do not seem to support the optimistic tone contained in the report's executive summary [NERC's executive summary]. Of particular concer is that, with only a little over a year to go, 34% of the firms are operating without a written plan."

Notice that "with only a little over a year to go" statement, which puts their assessment into perspective and supports what I said about benchmark. In October, they only had "a little over a year to go".

Earlier in the report, page 22, under Major Initiative, it states: " The Senate Year 2000 Committee held its first hearing on energy utilities on June 12, 1998...The Committee's survey results clearly indicated that electric utilities did not have an accurate picture of their current state of Y2K readiness. Most utilities had just begun to assess their systems and embedded devices."

So, the Senate report could not go from the January NERC report, as this would not give an accurate understanding of where the electric utilities really stood at this time, since NERC already was inacurate in over-optimisticaly stating status in it's first report.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), March 04, 1999.

The survey for the June 12th hearing was based on five electric companies. Hardly a basis upon which to derive overall industry status.

Whether or not the NERC summary was overly optimistic, the data from the October NERC survey was used in the Senate Report. And there were two more generations of data upon which to base the Report; the November data, which formed the basis for the January Report from NERC, and the January data.


-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), March 04, 1999.

Hoffmiester, you're missing the senate committee's point. Those industries started too late, they simply don't have enough time, no matter how the industries spin it.

The links you gave only shows upset statements from the industries, no facts whatsoever presented from them, they simply reiterate what they had told the gov in their reports. The senate commitee's investigations concluded that they will not all be done on time as stated by those industry groups. Pages 31-32 of the report for reference.

It comes down to who do you want to believe, the senate report or the industries? Who has most money to lose?

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), March 04, 1999.

Is three months going to make that much difference to utilities that started in 1998 instead of 1996?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 04, 1999.

The Senate report was based on the data provided in the NERC surveys. They have presented the facts; the data is freely available at the NERC site.

Whether or not you believe the data provided by NERC and the DOE is irrelevant to the discussion of the Senate Report. The Senate Committee didn't question the data, just NERC's summary. They used the data to form their conclusions. And they should have used the most recent data.


-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), March 04, 1999.

Kevin, sometimes I get lost in verbiage. You made my point in one clear short sentence. And now Hoffmieser is totally confusing me with his own verbiage that still miss the point with his last post.

Just answer this then Hoffmiester, how can they possibly have made so much progress in 3 months when experts have said that those who started in 1998 were too late?

My answer is simply that they fudged the newest reports, and so the senate committee discounted those and used the earlier ones as benchmarks.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), March 04, 1999.

No, they did not "discount" the recent data as "fudged". The Senate just doesn't move fast enough to incorporate more recent data.

Believe what you want. But watch as more information is released by the Senate. If you are correct, we won't see any references to more recent NERC data. My bet is we will.

As for what can be accomplished in three months, judge for yourself. The data is there. But it really is no argument at all. Decisions and conclusions should be based on the most recent, up-to-date information. Period.


-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), March 04, 1999.

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