Where might we go from here? John Koskinen and the term "Y2k Ready."

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Forgive me if I ramble a bit in this post. I'm headed out for a much deserved vacation (although I'll be checking in while I'm gone) and it occurred to me that now that Summer is nearly over (for those of us who have children headed back to school) it's time for me to make an assessment of how I view where we are today (from this journalist's perspective--for what it's worth).

It seems very clear to me that "Y2k Ready" is and will be--for the most part--the operative phrase from here on out.

"Y2k Compliant" is a badge of honor that can be claimed by some organizations, but the term is tough to justify in press releases.

IMHO, I think self-proclaimed "Y2k Ready" organizations are trying to tell the public they are doing/have done everything they can possibly do at this late date to head off problems, and that these activities include contingency plans.

So how good are those plans? I don't know.

The next time you hear of an industry, organization, etc., proclaiming to be "Y2k Ready," you may wish to hold its feet to the fire with regard to those contingency plans. Can they fax you a copy of their customer service contingency plans for example? If the organization fails, will customers be on hold for hours or be subject to rude treatment in reward for their inquiries?

Customer service is an important consideration. Ultimately, if an organization fails unexpectedly, flight to quality will begin if the employee who handles customer service inquiries is ill-informed or ill-trained. They are--and will always be--on the front lines.

Having said that, here's the latest from John Koskinen regarding the term "Ready."

Subject: John Koskinen's Response: A "Ready Comma" Replacement for...

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 15:32:00 -0400

From: Susan Hinden



John Koskinen's Response: A "Ready Comma" Replacement for a

"Ready Period" Culprit ---------------------------------


07/20/99 06:51:38 PM

Record Type: Record

To: JaNickrson@aol.com

cc: lmshein@opm.gov, Jason R. McNamara/WHO/EOP@EOP, steve451@erols.com (steve davis)

Subject: Re: A "Ready Comma" Replacement for a "Ready Period" Culprit (Document link not converted)

Thanks for your note and the creative suggestion for ensuring that our message that "just because the national systems are ready does not mean that there won't be problems at the local level" is clearly received. I'm now wedded to the "ready comma" mode of talking about national readiness. I'm also happy to adjust the above message to be "even though the national systems appear to be ready, every local community needs to take the necessary actions to make sure it and its residents are prepared for the transition to the year 2000."

I appreciate the ongoing dialogue we've had with the range of groups participating on our conference call and the joint effort being made to minimize any Y2K failures wherever they occur.

All the best.

The background on all of this is that a group of very dedicated community preparedness folks are concerned that if organizations claim to be "ready" (with a period at the end of the word 'ready.') most of the general public will assume everything is completely under control.

Critt Jarvis of this forum is wired into the bi-monthly telephone conversations between Koskinen's office and those who are concerned about preparedness at the community level. If you're interested in joining in the "fun" or are interested in learning more regarding the "Ready with a comma" intitiative, I would suggest that you email either Critt or Jan Nickerson at JaNickrson@aol.com

In the meantime, my thought for the day is that:

"Y2k Ready = Contingency Planning."

As always, however, I reserve the right to be wrong.

Your thoughts?

God bless.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), August 06, 1999


Because I am "formatting impaired" I need to point out that Mr. Koskinen's comments end with:

"All the best."

After that--it's all me.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), August 06, 1999.

FM - first, havec a great break and we'll see you soon,

"y2k ready" is just too hollow - just more spin-speak, another meaningless term designed to placate the herd... and they're doing a DAMN good job of it, I still say, no panic (unless bank runs caused by a) runs in Japan or b) spontaneous chain effect following some as yet unknown "event" (not the stock market crash)), all the way up to rollover...

3 days later - all together now, PAAAANNNNNIIIIIICCCCC...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), August 06, 1999.

FM Enjoy your break from us eh? :o) I just seen this article and had to post it when I seen your comments.


(Completion scheduled for fall) (620)
By Karen Molchanow
USIA Staff Writer

North American homes will have electricity on January 1, 2000,
according to the final report issued by the North American Electric
Reliability Council (NERC).

Currently, 99 percent of all U.S. and Canadian electrical supply
systems are Y2K ready NERC reported at an August 3 press conference.< br> "If New Year's Day 2000 was tomorrow, we believe the lights would
remain on in North America," said NERC President Michehl R. Gent.

After extensive assessments, testing and remediation, 251 of the 268< br> organizations reporting to NERC were granted Y2K-ready or
Y2K-ready-with-limited-exceptions status at the June 30 target date.< br> The 17 remaining utilities will be ready by October, according to the< br> report. The Nuclear Energy Institute reported that many of these
exceptions are scheduled for remediation in the fall to alleviate
electrical demand during the summer heat.

In an analysis of nuclear power plants, the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) reported that of the 103 operating U.S. nuclear
facilities, 35 are not Y2K-ready. However, 99 percent of remediation< br> and testing is completed in these plants. The NRC announced at a July< br> 27 Y2K conference that all have scheduled completion dates. "Regarding< br> our highest priority -- the uninterrupted performance of plant safety< br> systems -- all nuclear power plants report that their efforts are
complete, and that no remaining Y2K-related problems exist that could< br> directly affect the performance of safety systems or the capability
for safe shutdown," said NRC Chairman Greta Joy Dicus.

At the July 27 conference, Mary Olsen of the Nuclear Information
Resources Service (NIRS) said, "clearly there is a difference between< br> Y2K-ready and Y2K-compliant." Both Olsen and David Lochbaum, a nuclear< br> safety engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists, believe that
the NRC audit plan is "thoroughly useless." Lochbaum added, "It
doesn't define the minimum acceptance standard for Y2K readiness and< br> evaluate plants by these standards,"

In its status report, NERC defined Y2K-ready as "suitable for
continued use into the Year 2000" but not necessarily containing
"fully correct date manipulations." According to NERC,
mission-critical components' primary functions must be reliable to be< br> granted Y2K-ready status. The problem in the eyes of some critics lies< br> in the non-safety-related systems.

This is a safety versus non-safety issue, said NIRS's Paul Gunter. The< br> NRC is assuring that all safety-related, mission-critical equipment is< br> reliable, but the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents started
from non-safety-related equipment, he said. In south Texas, nuclear
power employees found that 4 percent of equipment tagged "non-safety"< br> by the NRC was important to safety and another 9 percent was risk
significant, Gunter reported. "There is very little room for failure."< br>
These concerns will be tested during a September 8-9 industry-wide
drill when electric utilities will rehearse administrative, operating,< br> communications and contingency response plans. However, NERC is
continuing to make extra provisions for the rollover date.

"NERC believes that the electric power industry will operate reliably< br> into the Year 2000 with the resources that are Y2K-ready today," said< br> Michehl Gent. Extra personnel to handle unexpected events are included< br> in NERC's contingency plan, and the council has adopted a
"defense-in-depth" strategy that realistically states "there can never< br> be 100 percent assurance that major system failures cannot cause a
catastrophic outcome."

At the beginning of August, NERC moved into phase three of its
coordination plan which will run for the remainder of 1999. Phase
three actions include continued progress reports on facilities with
remediation exceptions, monitored preparations of contingency plans,< br> assessment of telecommunications risks and development of the
President's Y2K Information Coordination Center.

-- Brian (imager@home.com), August 06, 1999.

All well and good, unless your utility provider, like mine (TXU) is "ready with exceptions".

-- mommacares (harringtondesignX@earthlink.net), August 07, 1999.

Brian, fixed color but lost link


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), August 08, 1999.

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