GAO Slams Government Compliance Claims : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From our friends at y2knewswire.


If agencies had spent less than half of the funds prior to 1999, it stands to reason they were probably less than half-way done. Yet today, the Clinton administration is claming nearly everything is done. That would mean these agencies -- which took two years to complete less than half -- completed the other half in three months, right in time for the March 31, 1999 deadline.

But the numbers don't add up: the agencies haven't yet spent the second half of the money. This means that if the Clinton administration's claims are true, agencies not only completed the second half of the repair process in just three months; they also did it without spending half the money!


Where, exactly, is the Y2K money going? Nobody knows. Most agencies didn't track the expenditures. They're just taking emergency Y2K funds and shoveling them down a deep hole while claiming they're already done. Your tax dollars hard at work, apparently...

Eight organizations did not know their Y2K cost obligations. Nine organizations, including five major agencies, refused to provide Y2K cost obligation information.

Here's an inter-governmental stonewalling tactic: if your numbers look bad, simply refuse to provide them. That's exactly what we're seeing here.

The OMB also refused to provide information on federal agencies.

Willemssen says, specifically, "In October 1998, we requested documentation from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on federal agencies required submissions of comprehensive plans and associated funding requirements for achieving Year 2000 computer compliance. We made follow-up contacts in an attempt to obtain this information. OMB has not responded to our request for documentation..."

Why would the OMB refuse to comply with this request if compliance had been achieved? Why would nearly six months go by without an answer? Here's the answer: the OMB is stonewalling, trying to protect federal agencies from public embarassment.


Out of the Treasury's $253 million allocated Y2K funds, $92 million is being spent on non-Y2K technology investments. That's Y2K cash being redirected to something else. It's like loaning your teenager money for college and finding out he used it to buy a new car. But in the government, there is no punishment for doing this.

Agencies are now requesting emergency Y2K funds.

Why would they be requesting emergency funds if they were already finished?

These agencies are quoting three reasons for needing more emergency Y2K funds:

Unforeseen Y2K requirements they forgot to budget for

Unexpected cost increases

Inability to use regular funds for Y2K activities

Is this activity congruent with the public claims that nearly everything is finished? Of course not. Quietly, behind the doors and when begging for more money, agencies paint a gloomy picture. But publicly, when it's time for that interview on CNN, suddenly everything is finished.


BUT THE OMB SAYS EVERYBODY IS KEEPING TRACK Linda Ricci, spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget, essentially counters all this. She says Y2K spending is one of the most closely-monitored processes of the federal government. In this story, she says, "we are absolutely confident that agencies are keeping track of their spending and their progress and reporting it appropriately.''

YET ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF THE Y2K DISCONNECT It's a total displacement from reality, of course. As the OMB refuses to provide numbers to the GAO, they claim everything is being closely monitored. By who? By themselves, it turns out.

The compliance claims are self-reported, and just to make sure everybody is telling the truth about how much they spent, the accounting is self-monitored. This creates a self-reinforcing delusion of compliance where there is none.

It's all part of the Y2K DISCONNECT -- the self-reinforced displacement from reality that's leading us right smack into a digital catastrophe. This phenomenon allows people to actually claim everything will be done in 1999 while they beg for emergency Y2K funds for fiscal year 2000. It allows people to say on one hand "everything is under control" while on the other hand request yet more emergency funds due to the fact that "unforeseen new costs" have appeared.

The Y2K DISCONNECT will be explored in greater detail in a future Y2KNEWSWIRE.COM feature article.


================================================================= This is old news, but once again, y2knewswire doesn't pull any punches.

-- regular (zzz@z.z), May 11, 1999


Here's the link to a letter from the GAO to House Majority Leader Richard Armey:

-- Kevin (, May 11, 1999.

Interesting - wonder if they realize that the "potential" failures next year from their current "errors and guesses and mismanagement" can't be so easily hidden.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, May 11, 1999.

an other thread ignored by polyannas.not surprising,no one's foaming at the mouth about black helicopters.the #1 rule in a disinformation campaign,if you can't rebuke,ignore......zoob......

-- zoobie (, May 13, 1999.

Y2Knewswire doesn't pull any punches and doesn't know exactly where to punch either. They are the most irresponsible "news" organization anywhere. It looks like these guys need to do their homework also. No comment needed.

Ok I'll make one comment: "Where, exactly, is the Y2K money going? Nobody knows. Most agencies didn't track the expenditures. They're just taking emergency Y2K funds and shoveling them down a deep hole while claiming they're already done." How the hell is this factual, unbiased, journalist reporting? Do your homework. A *big sigh* (in true Diane form).

-- Maria (, May 13, 1999.

While I expect that the government agencies would be required to maintain a ledger showing what monies were received, where they were for, and the actual costs, it appears that everything is still quite up in the air as to the the what's, where's, and why's and so forth.

If these agencies are receiving y2k funding, then they should be able to show that the monies were used in that fashion.

It seems that the agencies are saying, "We estimate that we need X dollars to fix the problems."

Then, they say, "We need X dollars more to fix the problems."

Then they say, "We need X dollars more to fix the problems."

Then they say, "We need X dollars more to fix the problems."

When asked what they problems are, we hear nothing but generalities. When asked what they spent the previous monies on, we hear generalities. When asked what they will spend the next allocation on, we hear generalities.

Generally speaking, of course. [g]

So, I think it only fair that they be required to produce some hard facts, proof if you will, that they have done exactly what they said they would do with the money already given, before getting any more. And, give an itemized list of the future expected costs they are claiming the need for money for.

Since they have already done an audit to determine what needs to be done, show what on that list has been done, and the actual cost incurred, and subtract that from the total y2k funding. Sounds similar to a checkbook balancing scenario, doesn't it?

We, the people, should be allowed to see this ledger, and judge whether the money was spent correctly. After all, we end up paying for it, don't we?

And if it has indeed been shoveled in a deep hole, we should be allowed to see it. It is OUR hole, isn't it? [g]?

-- J (, May 13, 1999.

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