"Report warns against Y2K complacence"

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04/21/99- Updated 09:00 AM ET

Report warns against Y2K complacence

by M.J. Zuckerman, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - With less than nine months remaining before the Year 2000 computer glitch showdown, the Clinton administration Wednesday releases a comprehensive report heralding successes, yet conceding a 7% rate of failure in making critical deadlines.

"Significant progress has been made but significant work remains to be done," said a senior administration official who asked not to be identified. "No one should be complacent at this point."

The report from the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion - the federal command post for worldwide Y2K efforts - is the first to predict success and offers further evidence that the worst-case scenarios of widespread computer breakdowns are not likely to occur.

But the report, the most comprehensive analysis of worldwide computer readiness, also finds concerns as the council moves into the final phase of Y2K "crisis management":

"Federal (government) mission-critical systems will be ready for the Year 2000," the report says.

But it notes that 7% of the federal government's absolutely essential systems - so-called "mission critical" systems - have missed a March 31 deadline for being ready. "There is still important work to be done," the report says.

"National Y2K failures in key U.S. infrastructure such as power, banking, telecommunications and transportation are unlikely."

Yet officials say that some regional or local failures are likely. The oil and gas industry predicts 6% of its critical systems will remain unprepared as late as Sept. 30, and "minor disruptions" might occur. And "not all banks are going to make it," predicts the senior administration official.

"Organizations that are adopting a 'wait-and-see' strategy are putting themselves at risk."

These are generally small to midsize companies, counties, cities and utilities.

"International Y2K activity, although increasing, is lagging and will be the source of our greatest concern."

About half of U.S. oil consumption is imported, and Venezuela, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, sources of more than a third of those imports, are at least a year behind the United States in preparing for Y2K.

The federal Y2K effort now is shifting to identify the greatest risks in the remaining months.


Over the next six weeks, the President's Y2K Council will hold an intensive series of "crisis or event management" meetings with leading industry associations to identify supply-chain risk areas, focusing on pharmaceuticals, food supplies, hospital supplies and mass transit.

The most significant concerns are at the local level, where emergency service, water and waste treatment facilities, to name a few, remain at risk, according to the report.

The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion intends a series of summer meetings with local governments.

Possible topic: No central authority is inspecting the 170,000 water districts in the USA for Y2K compliance.


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), April 22, 1999


Thanks, Kevin. Not very encouraging, is it? And you figure they put the best possible spin on it. Ouch!

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), April 22, 1999.

Why am I not surprised. Thanks for the information, Kevin. I must not get complacent either. Now what am I forgetting?

After reading that, I'm glad we made water our top priority. We have a well, 300+ feet deep, but that's not very comforting if you can't get the water out. Have made other arrangements

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), April 22, 1999.

Wired also refers to it ...

The Bug and the Beltway
by Declan McCullagh

3:00 a.m. 22.Apr.99.PDT

In Washington, war is waged in precisely the way you'd expect bureaucrats to battle: through prolix reports that few people read but everyone talks about.

On Wednesday, the White House fired its latest salvo in its long- running, if low-key, Y2K tussle with the Republican-led Congress. The administration report predicted that millennium computer glitches are unlikely to cause Americans any real worries.

"National Y2K failures in the key US infrastructures such as power, banking, telecommunications, and transportation are unlikely," concluded the report from a high-level commission created last year by President Clinton.

The 55-page collection of cheery reassurances is, of course, a bit different from what Congress has been saying.

[...remainder snipped...]


Or you can access it at Koskinens web-site, Presidents Council on the Year 2000 Conversion ...

http://www.y2k.gov/java/ index.htm

The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion Second Summary of Assessment Information April 21, 1999

http://www.y2k.gov/new/ FINAL3.htm

For what its worth.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), April 22, 1999.

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