PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON Y2K Meeting Minutes March 11, 1999 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Meeting Minutes

March 11, 1999

Janet Abrams, Executive Director of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion (Council), called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the American Institute of Architects Building, 1735 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC. She announced that John Koskinen, Assistant to the President and Council Chair, was meeting with Members of the Senate and would be arriving shortly.

Janet invited Dan Hill of the Small Business Administration and Don Wynegar of the Department of Commerce to brief the Council on plans for the upcoming Small Business Y2K Action Week, March 29-April 2. Dan Hill reported that more than 450 training seminars have been scheduled at Federal field offices across the country and upwards of 1000 events are expected to take place this spring. A calendar of activities is posted on the SBA Web site ( and the Department of Commerce (DOC) Web site ( Don Wynegar told the Council that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a Y2K Jump Start Kit, available from the NIST web site ( or from the NIST Help Desk at 1-800-Y2K-7557. The kit is a CD-ROM product designed to help small to mid-size businesses assess their Y2K vulnerability and aid them in their planning and remediation efforts. Videos to supplement the toolkit are being prepared.

Janet invited Elaine Kolish of the Federal Trade Commission to give an update on the operations of the Council's consumer information line (1-888-USA-4-Y2K). Elaine announced that the line has received more than 70,000 calls in the first 8 weeks of operations. She also mentioned that extensive Y2K information for consumers is now available on The site offers direct links to Federal agency and private-sector sites and will be updated regularly.

John Koskinen joined the group from his meetings on Capitol Hill. He gave an update on significant Council activities since the February meeting.

The Chair stressed the importance of speaking out to the public about our readiness efforts to date. He described the Freedom Forum event he had participated in the day before in New York, on a panel with representatives from the New York Times, the Associated Press, CBS Television News and Cable News Network (CNN). He noted a suggestion by the CNN representative that the Y2K Council issue a "readiness scorecard" covering all economic sectors and his response that the Council's second quarterly summary of industry assessments would be released in mid-April. Since over 100 members of the press were in the audience, it will be very important for all sectors to be covered in the April report.

The Chair updated the group on the effort now underway to design the "community conversations" campaign discussed at the February meeting. He invited comments from Council members about how best to promote information sharing about Y2K readiness at the local level. The campaign is planned for the summer.

The group reviewed the agenda for the National Governors Association (NGA) Y2K State Summit taking place on March 11-12 in Washington. The Chair expressed his appreciation to those Council members who would be participating in the Summit the next day. He observed that Congress is very interested in the Council's assessment of the States' Y2K preparedness. The Chair reminded those agencies that deal extensively with the States (e.g., Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture , the Department of Labor, and Department of Education) that they must be able to advise Congress, in detail, about the Y2K readiness of each program the States manage and administer for them. OMB will be reporting in its report for the quarter ending April 30 on the estimate from each state about their compliance dates for the ten major Federal programs they administer.

On the international front, John O'Keefe from the Department of State briefed the group on the recent G8 Y2K meeting he attended, where discussion focused on international readiness and contingency planning. (The G8 countries include Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.)

The Chair reported on the recent bilateral and trilateral meetings with Canada and Mexico; he particularly praised the Mexican government for devoting resources and time to work with the Central American and Caribbean nations. The next meeting for US, Canadian, and Mexican officials is scheduled for June 1999.

The Chair announced that the Y2K International Interagency Working Group (IWG) met for the first time during the week of March 1. The mission of the IWG is to assess international Y2K issues of particular importance to the United States.

The Chair also announced that the International Y2K Cooperation Center is up and running. Through the Center, the Council will encourage all countries to address potential Y2K problems in their basic infrastructure and work with their neighbors to develop region-wide contingency and emergency response plans.

It was reported that Australia and New Zealand are working together to draft a proposal for a "Day One" initiative. The Chair stressed the objective that valuable information be shared as events occur across time lines on January 1, 2000 without unnecessary duplication.

The Chair reported on the Council's efforts to assure coordination of the various Federal emergency response mechanisms in preparation for the transition to 2000. He introduced Lt. General Peter Kind (USA Ret.), who has come on board as Director of the Y2K Information Coordination Center.

As a final point, the Chair told members that top Y2K officials from across the Washington, DC, area will be meeting at the White House Conference Center during the week of March 15 to discuss their Y2K readiness and the development of region-wide emergency response plans. Representatives of major utilities serving the area will also participate. The Chair announced that the following week, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host a Y2K forum at the Ronald Reagan Building focusing on special Y2K challenges facing small business.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

-- (, April 19, 1999


My partner went to the SBA SME 2000 meeting at Clemson. Essentially wasted a complete day. The type of information presented was on the order of 'a bump in the road'. The information was presented and versed in the same language that the "Application Guidelines for SB Loan Applications" is phrased. If you can get through that, you can decipher the tax code without much trouble.

Reading through the minutes of the meeting, it sounds as if the same smoke and mirrors are in place. Lots of 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" and the actual response is negligible. Again..government people that are not going to commit to anything that smacks of decision making or UNCOVERING their tails. They better hurry. There's not much time to spend the rest of the money allocated and it takes a hell of a lot of committee meetings to eat up the dollars.

-- Lobo (, April 19, 1999.


"community conversations" campaign discussed at the February meeting


Who's leading/tracking this effort? What does the development process look like? Who's included in the face to face conversations? What do you want the end result to be?


-- Critt Jarvis (, April 19, 1999.

... He invited comments from Council members about how best to promote information sharing about Y2K readiness at the local level. < b>The campaign is planned for the summer. ...

This is what I noticed ... again.


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 19, 1999.

Go back to the post about the US Army's power point presentation. It was (sorry...I don't do links well)

Slide #25 reads:

Public Education: The Message

The Message: (I have separated the points)

1) We won't know for sure what will happen until it happens

2) Don't panic: government and industry are well along in contingency planning tp prevent serious problems

3) The key is effective community preparation. As we do for hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

4) We will help you make preparations for yourself, your families, your neighbors and your community.

end of quote.

There IS a concerted effort to "educate" the people. We have heard points 1,2,and 3. I was wondering when point four would arrive, and I guess it is the summer campaign.

That is if we are not reeling from the effects of Atilla the Hick's War.

-- Mary (, April 19, 1999.

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