"Government Lack of Preparation Unbelievable"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Rep. Horn: Government Lack of Preparation "Unbelievable"
July 19, 1999
There was an article just recently on the Newsmax.com web site concerning a Y2K test performed by the Pentagon, a subsidiary of the Department of Defense (DOD). The article was praising the DOD for its Y2K efforts when in reality the DOD with the majority of its mission critical systems will not be compliant, according to Congressman Steve Horn, until the year 2012. Steve Horn is the Chairman of the Congressional Subcommittee on Technology and considered to be the congressional expert on Y2K issues. In fact he just released, June 15th, 1999, a report card on the federal governments Y2K efforts.
Rep. Horn began by stating that the federal government is not being completely honest in assessing its Y2K readiness. (there's a news flash!) He went on to say that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has identified 43 federal "high impact" programs that provide critical services to millions nationwide, such as food stamps, Medicare, Child Welfare and the Air Traffic Control System. Of the 43 programs only 2, Social Security and the National Weather Service, are Y2K compliant. The listings below are an abbreviated listing of the "critical" programs that won't be working in the Year 2000:
Dept. of Agriculture
Special Supplemental Nutritional Programs
Dept. of Commerce
Patent and Trademark Processing
Dept. of Defense
Military Retirement Annuity
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Disaster Relief Program (These are the people that are supposed to pull our collective derrieres out of the fire if (did I say if) - when things get bad. The computers that aid them in that process will not be functional. I am sure you will sleep better tonight with that little tidbit of information tucked under you pillow.
Dept. of Health & Human Services
Child Support Enforcement
Disease Monitoring & Ability to Issue Warnings (Gee, if there is a biological attack by some terrorist group early next year you should get the notice about 2 or 3 weeks after your dead.)
Indian Health Services
Low Income Home Energy Assistance
and so on
Dept. Of Housing & Urban Dev.
Section 8 Rental Assistance
FHA Mortgage Insurance
Community Development Block Grants
Dept. of Justice
National Crime Information Center
Dept. of Labor
Office of Personnel Management
Federal Employee Health Benefits
Federal Employee Life Insurance
Dept. Of Transportation
Air Traffic Control System
Now, of these forty three programs seventeen of them have unknown completion dates. Eleven of them are scheduled to be compliant in December of 99 ( if you believe that I have some swamp land I would like to talk to you about). The rest of them are scheduled to be compliant somewhere between July and November of this year (again what are the odds). To quote Congressman Horn's reaction to this evaluation - "UNBELIEVABLE!!" (that is a direct quote).
House Majority Leader Dick Armey had several bones to pick with the administration over the Y2K issues as well. Apparently the current administration is giving itself a big pat on the back for being 92% compliant, at least according to them.
Congressman Armey had a little different take on the situation. He said the administration is refusing to face the reality of the situation and has even failed in meeting its own deadlines.
"This administration is fooling itself and luring the American Public into a false sense of security."
Rep Armey said that agencies claiming to be compliant have not been independently certified and that these self assessed claims of Y2K compliance hold very little validity.
Another major issue is the fact that none of these agencies have done any system integration testing. As Mr. Armey pointed out, the Social Security Administration can claim compliance but in fact they have not performed integration testing with the Department of the Treasury, they issue the checks or electronic transfers, or the private banking systems that accept electronic deposits.
Here is another confidence booster from Congressman Dick Armey. Mr. Armey requested that the Government Accounting Office (GAO) pole each agency to determine how they spent the Y2K funds allocated to each of these departments by Congress. Nine major federal agencies did not even bother to track the use of these funds; some agencies outright refused to provide the requested information (those agencies refusing to report were Agriculture, State and Treasury); and some agencies actually spent the money on things other than Y2K. The Treasury Department spent $92 million of the $253 million allocated on non Y2K technology.
Overall I would have to give the federal government a failing grade. When you examine the programs on the list above there are some, not that all of them aren't important to the people affected by their non performance, that just jump off the page at you. The fact that FEMA will not have their disaster relief systems functioning could translate into untold numbers of deaths. During the last few winters the US has sustained some major natural disasters. Lets assume for a moment that this coming winter is similar to the last few. How will the folks at FEMA deal with those issues while simultaneously trying to deal with the damage brought on by Y2K without their computers? And how many people will die as a result?
How will the elderly get by without their Social Security checks and Medicare or Medicaid? How will those that rely on food stamps and the other listed programs that provide nutrition and assistance for their children get by?
Important questions. Maybe you should call, write or email you political representatives and ask them these questions.
We all understand the concept of insurance. We all have it "just in case". The one thing you need to realize is that the Y2K bug is going to either directly or indirectly affect almost every person on the face of the planet. What are you doing to "insure" that those you love will be safe?
-- Nabi Davidson (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999
-- R (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
"Important questions. Maybe you should call, write or email you political representatives and ask them these questions". I've done so,and i won't bother again. There was the typical response all will be done and tested and blah,blah,blah. The writings on the wall for those that can read. Thanks for the post.............
-- kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
Batten Down the Hatches, do you think this will catch the eye of our "Main Stream Media Darlings".
Flint and Hoffmeister we need your keen analysis here. Time for the MASTER SPINNERS to get to work !!
-- Ray (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
Ray, don't forget Y2K Pro and Maria. A good BS response to this thread wouldn't be complete without their idiotic wit to tie things together.
-- a (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
"a", your absolutely right, I think we ought to invite the whole gang of Polly/Trolls to comment on this rather ominous thread. I have a feeling though that they will ALL be noticably absent !!
-- Ray (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
We all will be witnesses to an event in history which none will be able to believe as it unfolds before their horrified eyes.
If only the 'Net were to stay up so we all could commiserate when TSHTF and the fur flys ...
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
speaking of the net being down...I couldn't get on half the day...anyone know why it was down or what was going on?
-- Moore Dinty moore (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
Let not forget to invite "CHICKEN CHARLIE".
-- y2k dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
Hey don't forget to invite old suckie !!!!!!!!
-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), July 20, 1999.
Pooooole, Deckeeeeer, Fliiiiiint, Aniiiiiita, Mariiiima, y2kiiiinfaaaaant, where are yoouuuuuuuuuuuuuu???
-- George (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
-- Robert A Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 1999.
This lack of foresight on the part of our government was virtually criminal negligence.
The REAL question is what are we going to do about it in the future? The future is where we will be living. Do we continue to let these folks control our destinies?
Should federal service prior to 01/01/2000 be made into a permanent ban on ever holding public employment again?
Robert Heinlein had a number of very interesting ideas on the electoral franchise. I'll post a thread later to throw out some ideas for thought.
-- Jon Williamson (email@example.com), July 21, 1999.
Treasury...spent...on non Y2K...
OK, Yet ANOTHER FELONY committed by this Administration! (Federal Anti Deficiency Act)
-- K. Stevens (kstevens@It's ALL going away in January.com), July 21, 1999.
I've never expressed anything but total lack of confidence in government's ability (at any level) either to remediate their systems, or to report their status honestly.
Still, I can't help but laugh a little at this presentation. First, this business of 41 of 43 programs being noncompliant comes from a government source. Do we distrust this source? Distrust hell, we embellish it.
In one sentence, Nabi has gone from 41 programs being noncompliant today, to those same programs not working next year. Somehow noncompliant today because noncompliant later (without a shred of evidence, just an assumption). THEN, noncompliant later became nonworking later (also without a shred of evidence, just another assumption). Of course there's no need to make these assumptions explicit, since we all take them for granted. Doomerism is a slippery slope indeed.
And lost in the assumptions is *any* consideration of 'close', more soor less so, or what impact varying *degrees* of completion may have on the functionality of these programs. Lost is any examination of just how noncompliant these programs are, and will be next year, or what it may (or may) not mean to their operations.
Doomism is all we are left with, once we assume away the real world.
-- Flint (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 1999.
-- --:::--- (email@example.com), July 21, 1999.