white house leads the way...NOT!

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March 26, 1999


White House sets poor Y2K example

By Brian Friel bfriel@govexec.com

While 90 percent of federal agencies' critical computer systems will be year 2000 compliant by President Clinton's March 31 deadline, the White House itself will miss that deadline by seven months, the administration reports.

Only 25 percent of the White House's 68 mission-critical computer systems will be Y2K-compliant by the end of March, White House spokesman Barry Toiv said. All systems won't be ready until October, he said.

In the Office of Management and Budget's latest agency-by-agency tally of Y2K readiness, the White House is listed on page 32 as the "Office of Administration." That's the White House unit that controls information technology systems for the Executive Office of the President.

Toiv said Y2K work at the White House was delayed when Congress blocked funding for the Office of Administration in fiscal 1997. In the fiscal 1997 omnibus appropriations act, Congress withheld $420,000 from the office until it produced a computer systems investment strategy. The funds could not be spent prior to Sept. 25, 1997, so Y2K work was significantly delayed, Toiv said.

He also blamed the White House's slow progress on "the complexity and age" of the White House's computer systems.

The White House's telecommunications system will be Y2K-compliant by March 31, Toiv said. Personal computers in the Executive Office of the President will be ready by June.

Fifty percent of the White House's systems will be compliant by June, and 75 percent by the end of August, Toiv said.

In contrast to the White House, six federal agencies have already announced their mission-critical computer systems are fully Y2K-compliant: The Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Small Business Administration and the Social Security Administration.

Of the government's 24 largest agencies and departments, only the Agency for International Development lags behind the White House. All other major departments reported that at least 50 percent of their computer systems were Y2K-ready as of Feb. 12, with 15 of the 24 largest departments above the 80 percent compliant mark.

According to the OMB report, the White House will spend $24.5 million fixing its computers.

-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), March 26, 1999


theatre of the absurd before the collapse of the empire

-- laughcry (laugh@cry.laugh), March 26, 1999.

Oh, they are leading. Clinton thinks global. Computer problems are just the beginning.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@anonymous.com), March 26, 1999.

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