Mississippi only 29 % fixed??

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Sun Herald Online - Article

Most machines not Y2K compliant


BILOXI - The State Auditor's Office says state computer systems are far from being ready to handle the year 2000 computer problem and may cripple the ability of many state agencies to provide services to taxpayers next year.

"The Department of Information Technological Services surveyed state agencies and found that only 29 percent believe their information systems are completely Y2K compliant," State Auditor Phil Bryant wrote in a report to Gov. Kirk Fordice.

"While state agencies have worked hard to address this issue, due to the complexity of the problem, there is no assurance government will not experience some information system malfunctions or failures," Bryant wrote.

The auditors said the remaining 71 percent of the state's computers could be finished in October.

The State Auditor's Office began researching the state's Y2K readiness in March following a request by the governor. The auditors presented their findings earlier this month.

The auditor's report strongly criticized the Legislature for how it addressed the Y2K problem two years ago when it failed to create a centralized office to coordinate Y2K related repairs.

Auditors said the Legislature "created a decentralized approach by placing the responsibility of state government Y2K compliance on individual agencies with no clear plan for overall state government compliance."

The report said that legislators should have put one agency in charge of coordinating the state's Y2K repairs.

Auditors said they had difficulty finding out how much Y2K repairs cost because the Legislature did not make any special funding available to state agencies except for a few emergency cases.

"Many state agencies were required to use existing appropriation levels to fund their Y2K compliance," reads the report.

The auditor's report also criticizes state leaders for not understanding the impact that Y2K failures could have on state services.

"The state has not calculated the financial and service disruption (business) impact of information system failures, neither by individual state agencies, nor as the state as a whole. Without knowing the business impact of information system failures, the state will be unaware of the potential disruptions to the public and customers," reads the report.

Y2K preparations in business generally include a contingency plan to resolve problems that could not be anticipated. But state auditors found an alarming lack of preparedness by some key state agencies, including the agency charged with helping in an emergency - the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Agencies without a contingency plan include The State Health Department; Finance and Administration; MEMA; the Public Employment Retirement System; the Department of Transportation; the State Tax Commission; and State Treasury Department.

The Department of Information Technology Services is hosting a Y2K contingency planning class for state agencies Aug. 26.

"All state agencies should send representatives to this class," reads the report.

Because of the state's shortfall in preparing for Y2K, auditors recommended that the State Attorney General's Office start preparing for lawsuits from the failure to provide promised services.

Bryant said many people have trouble understanding the impact of the Y2K problem, and even after his office's review, he said many questions remain.

"We do not know what effect Y2K will have on our state," he said, "because we have never experienced anything similar to this problem before."

-- Brian (imager@home.com), August 16, 1999


It sounds like Washington DC and other third world countries.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), August 16, 1999.


Here is where the State Auditors report can be found you need Acrobat Reader. In the news conference he warned all citizens of Ms. to be prepared " for a 7 to 10 day self sustaining emergency".

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), August 16, 1999.

Much of the East Coast natural gas and oil gets to the East Coast in pipelines laid through Mississippi - controlled by phone lines and in substations/pump stations inside of "Ole Mess."

The rest comes from outside imports - that are also refined in and piped through the third world.


Now, don't arbitrarily assume that just because the state government is failing to fix things that everything in the state is equally bad. (It might be worse.)

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), August 16, 1999.

Hey, at least someone is in worse shape than Hawai'i! I hope everyone there's heavy into preparation...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), August 16, 1999.


Well, we've been asking for honesty.... Let's not gag at the taste when we get it.

No real surprises here, are there?

Robert, as my daughter is fond of saying, "It can ALWAYS be worse"

Is any of the state's electricity provided by government controlled or run utilities?

-- Jon Williamson (jwilliamson003@sprintmail.com), August 18, 1999.

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