Y2K repair on mainframe sends thousands of dollars in error

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a mainframe repair in NJ primary food stamp computers has jsut sent thousands of dollars worth of food stamp credits in error. Big mess www.tampabayonline.net/news/news1021.htm AP breaking

-- don (don@aol.com), March 21, 1999


don: Looks like another entry for the failure list that was caused by an upgrade implementation. Thanks for the info, Rob.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@com.net), March 21, 1999.

-- Watchful (
seethesea@msn.com), March 21, 1999.

"Because of an error in that upgrade, the computer wrongly sent a message to an electronic benefits transfer company telling it to credit benefits as of April 1, 1990 instead of April 1, 1999, Tencza said."

LOL! well I guess that at least proves there isn't a three digit date solution... 04/01/199x?


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), March 21, 1999.


btw, we will hopefully have the reformatting of the cbn y2k main page done this week, and your list will continually be on that main page. keep me posted on future updates/additions/whatever.

-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (y2k@cbn.org), March 21, 1999.

Hi Drew. I've started a part three and so far it has 6 failures. This does not include that one from the Sentinel you had doubts about. Thanks for keeping me informed.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@com.net), March 21, 1999.

HeeHeehehehehe. Happy early April Fool's Day!

Computer Error Makes April Food Stamps Available Early

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

3/21/99 -- 9:07 PM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - An overhaul designed to protect New Jersey's main welfare computers from the so-called Y2K bug may have caused a glitch that enabled thousands of food stamp recipients to access their April benefits a week-and-a-half early.

Technicians were scrambling Sunday night to correct a computer error that incorrectly credited the electronic accounts of thousands of recipients with money that should not have become available until April 1.

State officials did not know Sunday night how many people actually withdrew funds that were posted to their accounts in error. An estimate will not be available until Monday.

About 90 percent of the 200,000 families who receive food stamps in New Jersey participate in the electronic program.

Human Services spokeswoman Jacqueline Tencza said the state's main welfare computer underwent an upgrade and an overhaul two weeks ago to improve its capabilities and to protect against the so-called ``millennium bug,'' a situation in which computer systems may interpret the last two digits of the year 2000 to actually be 1900, causing unpredictable consequences.

Because of an error in that upgrade, the computer wrongly sent a message to an electronic benefits transfer company telling it to credit benefits as of April 1, 1990 instead of April 1, 1999, Tencza said.

Tencza said no decision has been made yet about whether to penalize anyone who improperly drew on benefits wrongly posted to their accounts.

Penalize them? Idiots! Like it was their fault! Just send them a notice urging them to please spend the money wisely on beans and rice preparation for the Big Glitch that stops the food distribution chain soon. Opportunity to educate and prepare ;-)

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), March 22, 1999.

I'm sorry. I didn't hear the sound of dominos falling. Where are the "systemic" failures? Can you say 'inconvenience'?

-- Moron Zinger (something.smells@around.here.com), March 22, 1999.

Inconvenence? If this many people misspend it, waste it, and then are ungry at the end of April - do we (taxpayers) "pay extra" then?

What will their response be if there are no benefits, no water, no power - no electronic debit cards - they may have no way to use their welfare cards next year this time? Inconvenieces then, or riots?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 23, 1999.

To the best of my knoledge, food stamps are not used for "power and water", unless they're cashed in at discount and used to pay the utility bill. Do you care to speculate on the percentage of food stamps that are misspent on cigarettes and beer, every day? And why do you equate rioting with welfare recipients? Are you afraid of single welfare mothers?

-- M. Zinger (something.smells@round.here.com), March 23, 1999.


-- tired (--@of.trolls.com), March 23, 1999.


I have noticed though that all of the riots in DC, Detroit, LA, NJ, St Louis and other such places over the past 30 odd years of rioting - have all tended to be concentrated in the regions of 'lesser prosperity" and "greater rage". I have noticed that riots - even those happeing in the past few weeks in South America - can be triggered by a loss of services "wanted" by the populace at large - and such services most important are food, water, heat, light, and power. In the inner cities - where you imply you are most concerned - such services are particularly vunerable to old and unremediated systems. Particulalry, if as in Atlanta, the corrupt city government is wasting time by firing the very companies that are supposed to be repairing their systems.

Other "wants" are important - certainly there are questions whether drugs, liquor or other physical vices will be as easily availble if air and car traffic are curtailed by fuel or FAA troubles. Again - stress risers occur if a former drug addict is hungry, cold, and driven angry by an suddenly enforced and certainly unwanted "cold turkey" withdrawal from his or her habit.

Thus, loss of any services - and loss of food stamps, welfare in general, or government services of all types is very, very likely, is going to impact those areas first, greatest, and before they will impact other areas. The reaction to losses will be undoubtably greater in those areas - and it isn't the "welfare mom's" who would be the most likely troublemakers - it is now estimated that upwards of 30 % of the young males in those areas are, or have already have, arrested for criminal behavior, or are on probation from criminal behaivor, or are wanted for criminal behavior. If, as many suspect, the food stamp traffic is a highly corrupted black market for many other thatn legtimate users - these cirminals too will not view the losss of their "income" lightly. Again, a stress riser.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 23, 1999.

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