"Trade Associations Take on Senate's Y2K Report"

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This is a recent article from Westergaard 2000. It seems a few groups weren't happy with the Senate Y2K report. Let's enter their objections into the record for reference next year.


BAM, BAM and BAM Again

Trade Associations Take on Senate's Y2K Report

By Charlie Register March 8, 1999

As soon as the Senate Y2K committee released it's report on the looming impact of Year 2000 computer failures, trade associations fired back expressing their dismay over how their industries' preparedness was characterized in the report.

The 160-plus page report, "Investigating the Impact of the Year 2000 Problem," is the most comprehensive government report to date on how Y2K related failures could impact the United States. International concerns were also examined.

Besides the fate of health care, some other concerns the Senate Y2K committee highlighted were rural electrical cooperatives' ability to handle the date change, the readiness of the domestic and international oil industry, and concerns over possible disruptions in the U.S. food supply.

Regarding electrical reliability, the report said, "Of greatest concern are approximately 1,000 small, rural electric utilities that may not have the resources to devote to Y2K compliance."

Realizing the possibility of this concern surfacing in the report, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) attempted a preemptive strike last week, issuing a statement saying the Senate report "erred in its characterization of readiness efforts" of its constituents.

"Electric cooperatives from all over the country have called in expressing amazement or disbelief at news reports calling into question electric reliability in rural areas," said Ron Greenhalgh, chief engineer for NRECA in a PRNewswire release dated Feb. 26. Greenhalgh added that the "nation's co-ops are right on schedule with remediation of the Y2K problem."

The American Petroleum Institute (API) took issue with the Senate's use of old survey figures to raise concerns over possible disruptions in the availability of oil-based products.

According to Reuters, the API said "latest survey of oil and natural gas companies shows that most firms are in the final stages of updating their computer programs" and that the trade group criticized the Senate Report for not containing the latest publicly available data on the readiness of oil and natural gas companies.

"The nation should not be alarmed by information that is not current," the API said.

Just prior to the public release of the report, the representatives from the distribution end of the U.S. food industry provided testimony to the Senate Y2K committee and issued a simultaneous press release highlighting their position on Y2K and the food supply.

"Bottom line, the preliminary results show the majority of food manufacturing companies have completed the correction of potential Y2K problems in their critical systems," said C. Manly Molpus, President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers of America. "Our industry has been quietly tackling this issue for some time, and feels well prepared to deliver food to consumers when the new millennium arrives," Molpus added.

The phrasing of Molpus's statement is a clear indication that the joint press release by the GMA and the Food Marketing Institute was designed to counter concerns raised in the Senate report, which said of the food industry, "the reluctance to provide public witness is certainly disturbing...it is possibly alarming."

As Y2K trigger dates come closer, industry public relation campaigns will increasingly circulate their unified message, "don't panic, we can handle it." Already they have allies in government. U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson is already on record saying he's "confident there will be no power failures" and encouraging Americans not to form lines as gas pumps on New Year's Eve.

But the success of a public relations campaign is measured not just by what it accomplishes in the short-term, but by whether or not such disarming claims prove true. As the old textbook adage goes, "Everything is public relations, but public relations is not everything." There's got to be something to back the claims up, so let's hope these campaigns see it successfully through the date change.


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 10, 1999


Wouldn't it be refreshing to see a corporate or trade industry post a faq something like this..........

Siemens Year 2000 Compliance Q's & A's


Q - Does Siemens Microelectronics, Inc. (SMI) have the management commitment to achieve Year 2000 compliance?

A - Management throughout SMI is clueless about meeting the Year 2000 challenges.

Q - Has Siemens established a formal program for monitoring and measuring Year 2000 readiness?

A - SMI has a couple people working on it. Representatives from Quality Assurance, IS, Infrastructure & Administration, Finance, Legal, and Internal Audit. They are pursuing the project in phases, which include playing Doom, assessment of which reports management is likely to actually read, and looking for rural property.

Q - Has Siemens established a program to address Year 2000 issues throughout its global operations?

A - Since the start of 1997, Siemens has realized it's global operations stand no chance of finishing remediation. We have developed the plan of just hoping for the best.


Q - Are all products provided by Siemens Year 2000 compliant?

A - Our initial investigations have revealed few of our products to be Year 2000 compliant.

Internal Systems and Processes

Q - Will Siemens business systems, CPU's, network hardware and software run correctly in the Year 2000? A - hee, hee, hee. Changes and updates will occur as needed, at some future date. Really.

Q - Will the internal infrastructure systems (facilities) and environmental operations within SMI be fully operational?

A - The assessment of the internal infrastructure is part of the overall Year 2000 project and any necessary changes to ensure full operability are being addressed. {I didn't need to change this one, it was funny enough as it is}

External Providers

Q - Does Siemens program address the Year 2000 activities of its suppliers, service providers, and other business partners? A - The Task Force, as well as SMI Management, is in the process of putting all of our suppliers on a roladex, which we assure you is y2k "ok".

Leap Year

Q - Has the fact that Year 2000 is a leap year been considered in the overall project?

A - Huh?

The statements made in this communication are given to the best of our current knowledge but for the purpose of customer information only and are not intended to be used as legally binding commitments.

Additional questions can be sent via e-mail to y2k@smi.siemens.com

-- Online2Much (ready_for_y2k@mindspring.com), March 10, 1999.


-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), March 10, 1999.

Online2Much...funny stuff, but just in case someone doesn't understand that this is humor and start passing this around...

It' a joke guys. Siemens is doing a first rate job of helping industrial customers.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), March 10, 1999.

What amazes me is that Koskinen's crew, and others, consistently RELY on Trade Association Y2K "survey" information. (It's been publicly acknowledged by the K-man).

At least the Senate gets actual testimony from industry representatives. (For what that's worth.)

Last I checked not "everybody" in an industry joins their Trade Association(s), and if they do, not everyone "responds" to a survey.

Seems like "iffy" info to me.


(Loved the spoof Online2Much!)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

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