Hey, didn't the FAA claim Y2K Compliance in July? How many lies can they tell?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The Federal Aviation Administration and Primeon Work Together to Mitigate the Effect of Y2K

Primeon Y2K Audit Service is an Integral Part of FAA Year 2000 Program

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--August 31, 1999--Primeon Inc., a leading provider of application re-engineering services, announced today that they are working with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide Year 2000 Audit services, also known as Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) services. Primeon is auditing the FAA's mission critical systems, which are composed of many millions of line of source code written in many languages, to determine the overall quality of remediation. The FAA chose the Primeon Y2K Audit Service after an exhaustive search. The Primeon Y2K Audit Service is unique in that it supports over 70 source code languages including the most complex such as M204 and assembler. Primeon has performed Y2K audit services for many Fortune 100 companies and other federal government agencies.

``The primary objective of the FAA's Year 2000 program is to ensure that the skies remain safe as we move into the new millennium,'' said Richard Boe, Year 2000 Program Manager for the ARA group of the FAA. ``To that end, we searched for a Y2K IV&V service provider that could meet our stringent quality requirements and, as importantly, could support the complexity of the large number of operating systems and development languages that make up our infrastructure. Primeon was selected because they can meet these requirements.''

``Primeon is pleased to bring the skills and experience we have gained working with many Fortune 100 companies in the private sector to federal agencies such as the FAA. Primeon has audited the most critical systems for the FAA. We will work continuously with the FAA to help them meet and beat the objectives of their Year 2000 Program,'' according to Gordon King, Director of Government Markets for Primeon.

The Primeon Y2K Audit Service

Primeon's Y2K Audit Services are IV&V services whose hallmarks are coverage and speed. Primeon will audit applications comprised of millions of lines of code, with 100% code coverage, in weeks after receipt and inventory. These services are designed to be a quick check to determine whether potential date-related errors still exist within application source code that has already been through a full remediation program. Primeon has designed these streamlined Y2K error identification services to quickly review source code specifically to verify the completeness of the remediation.


Full press release at this spot

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999


Seriously, is it possible to do an IV&V service project on the FAA in 122 days?

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999.

I believe this group employs Y2K Pro?

Sounds like the FAA's IT managers are fatigued with analysis paralysis and could use some outside prodding for the home stretch.

Good catch, Dog Gone, thanks.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), August 31, 1999.

I'm just glad they're actually doing IV&V. Although I always thought being compliant meant the remediated systems and applications were already in place, up, and running.

Silly me.

Mike ==================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), August 31, 1999.

Dog Gone,

Seriously, is it possible to do an IV&V service project on the FAA in 122 days?

Seriously, no. -TECH32-

-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), August 31, 1999.

Egad! 70 different programming languages, including "most complex" M204 (whatever that is -- the old Model 204 database language?) and assembler.

If Primeon has "streamlined Y2K error identification services to quickly review source code" ... "with 100% code coverage, in weeks after receipt and inventory" that obviously implies that they have automated tools. I wouldn't be surprised to see tools for such obvious languages as COBOL, PL/I, C/C++, etc. ... but 70 different languages?!?

I wish them well.... whatever doubts and concerns we may have about the lateness with which this effort is commencing, we all have a MAJOR vested interest in their succeeding!


-- Ed Yourdon (HumptyDumptyY2K@yourdon.com), August 31, 1999.

Does this mean FAA fired SAIC?

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), August 31, 1999.

Seriously, I didn't think so.

This is just amazing. They are caught repeatedly lying and the lamestream press never picks up on it.

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999.

From Reuters on July 21:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that all its computer systems were ready for the Year 2000, including those used for air traffic control.

The FAA completed the work by an internal deadline of June 30 but held off making an official announcement while the results were verified by an outside contractor and the Department of Transportation's Inspector General.

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999.


As I recall, there was a link about 3 to 6 weeks ago which named a different FAA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) contractor -- who had checked the "documentation." Remember that discussion?

Now... where was that thread?



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), August 31, 1999.

Its 4:00 am here, so maybe I'm not reading this correctly. But it would appear to me to be a pointless exercise to incur the expense of IV&V if they haven't completed their remediation.

Therefore either they have completed it, or the audit will show that that they haven't.

Remember that it is only an audit, and not a duplication of the testing process.


-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), August 31, 1999.


This may be the thread http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0017 Oh

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999.

Yep, Dog Gone,

Just found it...


The agency said Science Applications International Corp. recently finished independently verifying and validating the FAA's Year 2000 fixes.

FAA: All Systems Y2K-Compliant (Federal Computer Week)

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 0017Oh

So, why the IV&V switch?


Another couple interesting threads...

Update on FAA air traffic control systems

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 00181a

Air traffic control "techs" stage protests/pickets - claim FAA rushing new equipment in too fast for safety.

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 0016D9

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), August 31, 1999.

The only way to find date problems in 70 languages is to use a text scanner. There is no single AI parser/analyzer program that can read 70 languages, although a couple (Reasoning has one) can be set up to parse anything you can imagine. Problem is, it takes at least days and perhaps weeks to program Reasoning's language ("Refine", if I recall right) to handle a new language.

I've seen (and critiqued) quite a few text scanners. You pass the source code through it after giving it date "seeds" - strings that might indicate date-usage. Then re-pass and re-pass while refining your seed list. It's heavy human intervention, if done right, and even then the value is limited. No way can you do millions of lines in weeks, unless you just run the same seeds against all programs.

FAA (again, if I remember right) did this once already, and used a COBOL seed list to scan assembler code. Anyone else remember that? And based on finding no hits, they proclaimed the programs compliant! Sounds suspiciously like they've learned nothing in the meantime. Primeon's Y2k services page now says they "have serviced" 80 languages. That's a long way from saying an automated tool can read and analyze 80 languages.

Quoting from Primeon's Y2k conversion services page: "Our process for using the aforementioned tools allows us to make adjustments for characteristics that are specific to the code base. This repair process is refined and repeated until no more errors are found." Boy, that sure sounds like standard seed-based string searching.

The term (100% code coverage) is used mostly in glassbox testing, where you generate test data and can verify that the data exercised all the possible legs. I've never heard the term used in code scanning (because code scanning ALWAYS scans all the code), whether that's an AI analyzer or a string scanner. Sounds like it was thrown in to impress the yokels.

I'd like to hear lots more about the details of this IVV.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), August 31, 1999.

and more (Y2K Pro pipes up in this one)


-- lisa (lisa@work.now), August 31, 1999.

As noted above: what happened to SAIC? They were the auditor of record not that long ago, I thought.

I'm having a bit of trouble parsing this press release. The tense of certain sentences is different from others with the same apparent subject.

Para 1 - "Primeon is auditing the FAA's mission critical systems, which are composed of many millions of line of source code written in many languages, to determine the overall quality of remediation..."


Para 3 - "Primeon has audited the most critical systems for the FAA..."

Is the key here the use of the term "most critical" vs. "mission critical"?

Either way, they obviously ain't done with IV&V, and thus with any fixes that are identified by it. More importantly, are any of these systems in production use right now?

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), August 31, 1999.

Here's a related thread. Is this the one you were looking for, Diane?

FAA: All Systems Y2K-Compliant (Federal Computer Week)

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), August 31, 1999.


Looks like you and I were posting at the same time. Here's another recent thread:


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), August 31, 1999.

Yes, I (among others) was forcefully informed that SIAC was the verification contractor for the FAA, and that this verification was complete and found no errors and had been done evrywhere on all installations.

Of course, at the time, I merely pointed out that all the SIAC verifiaction was apparently doing was checking that the "test" procedures were adequately written: not that the test itself was sufficient to check everything, nor that the results were satisfactory. NOTE: public relation releases are very confusing on this issues, don't blindly trust what was published to tell you what was tested, what the results were, nor how the test results were "checked" and by who...

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), August 31, 1999.

Yeah, Robert, what you said; we're trying to conjure the forceful informer but he/she/it maybe is in a meeting somewhere.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), August 31, 1999.

Robert -- yes, but that was then and this is now. NOW, they're compliant and NOW everything will be IV&Ved in four months but they're really done anyway so it doesn't matter and, besides, this is just for PR purposes, no, for serious testing purposes (but then they wouldn't be able to finish in time would they so it can't be real IV&V?) and, anyway, they've ALREADY told the public they're done and the FAA always tells the truth, according to Hoff, so they don't really need to do the IV&V anyway, so .....

wait, I'm confused. You mean, they're just starting serious IV&V?

Hmmmm ...... never mind.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), August 31, 1999.

Hey, everybody, is it possible that aviation industry groups/airlines/airports could sue the FAA if burnt-up systems delay traffic, forcing a decline in revenue?

Does the FAA need to CYA?

-- lisa (lisa@love.faa_stuff), August 31, 1999.

We've caught the FAA in so many lies now that they have zero credibility. The only way I'll ever believe the FAA is compliant is when I hear verifiable reports from the air traffic controllers at the airports.

The whole Clinton Administration is a sack of liars, and so I guess I shouldn't be surprised by uncovering another lie. Seems pretty bold to claim 100% compliance and then sign a contract to begin testing six weeks later, though.

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999.

is it possible that aviation industry groups/airlines/airports could sue the FAA

I don't like where you're headed there. The only money the FAA has comes straight from our wallets.

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), August 31, 1999.

Got bicycles? And local business?


"To be... or not to be..." grounded. That IS a salient question!

Somehow, I'd also agree... the Air Traffic Controllers, the pilots and the IT maintenance folks are the one's I'd listen to. (Not their PR firms).


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), August 31, 1999.

Right-o, Diane, like Robert says: the first ones to hit the ground are the ones to listen to.

-- lisa (lisa@yep.that's_right), August 31, 1999.

Hoffmeister, beckoning Hoffmeister, PLEASE get these folks straightened out once and for all with regard to the INTEGRITY of the FAA.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), August 31, 1999.

Hmmm, can't seem to find anyone to stick up for the FAA on this one...

-- can't findem (nopollies@aroundhere.now), August 31, 1999.

Wanted: 1,200,000 airline passengers to participate in first real-time real world test for FAA compliance to be conducted on Jan.1 2000. Tickets will be free with the clear understanding that FAA systems are fully remdiated and Primeon was glad to take millions to say so if thats what the FAA wanted for the press release. All test participants will sign a full release holding airlines and FAA harmless in the event that an error slips past Primeon. Call early to avoid the madd rush for tickets. . How many lies can they tell? Clinton appointees? LOL!

-- doktorbob (downsouth@dixie.com), August 31, 1999.

The FAA reminds one of an "ex" smoker, cigarette dangling from the mouth: "Yep, right after this one, I'm quitting (again)!" LOL!

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), August 31, 1999.

Tid bit:

The FAA is stockpiling 200 lb. batteries & cases of battery acid at the FAA control tower at O'Hare airport. Enviromental said they are for y2k. For generators.

Might not mean anything.

BTW my source of info is my spouse.

-- Deborah (infowars@yahoo.com), August 31, 1999.

OK, since Sir Hoff. and co. aren't here, I'll take a shot at the "Polly For A Day" contest...

Go to this site:

FAA Year 2000 News and Events

Click on "FAA Y2K Progress Update"

Note that not only are 424 Mission Critical Systems ready, but also 204 "Non-Mission Critical Systems" are ready.

Read this, at the bottom of the page:

"As of June 30, 1999, 100% of all mission critical and non-mission critical systems requiring implementation have been implemented. The FAA is ensuring compliance of all systems by having the systems documentation examined by an independent verification and validation contractor, the DOT Inspector General, and the General Accounting Office."

Hit me with your best shot.

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), August 31, 1999.


Is this the same SAIC that WAS doing FAA IV&V? (Looks like it!)


And note... in this thread...

U.S. Prepares For Possible Y2K Violence

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 001Kas

U.S. Prepares For Possible Y2K Violence
Updated 3:29 PM ET August 31, 1999
By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is preparing for possible violence from cults, guerrillas, hate groups and end-of-world-fearing zealots as 2000 approaches. ...


...who now consults on counter-terrorism at the Science Applications International Corporation in McLean, Virginia.


Curious, huh?


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), August 31, 1999.

SAIC -- Science Applications International Corporation

Click on the Sitemap link top level, then on SAIC LOCATIONS and toggle U.S. and Worldwide Locations to Virginia and look down the list for McLean...


1410 Springhill Road
Suite 400
Mclean, Virginia 22102
Phone: 703-790-2914

1600 International Drive
Mclean, Virginia 22102
Phone: 703-744-8500

1710 Goodridge Drive
P.O. Box 1303
Mclean, Virginia 22102
Phone: 703-821-4300
Fax: 703-734-4050

7927 Jones Branch Drive
2Nd Floor
Mclean, Virginia 22102
Phone: 703-228-8300

8301 Greensboro Drive
Ms E-32 Suite 230
Mclean, Virginia 22102
Phone: 703-917-8402

8301 Greensboro Drive
P.O. Box 50132
Mclean, Virginia 22102
Phone: 703-821-4300

Turner-Fairbank Hwy Res Ctr
6300 Georgetown Pike
Mclean, Virginia 22101
Phone: 703-285-2671

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 01, 1999.

"As of June 30, 1999, 100% of all mission critical and non-mission critical systems requiring implementation have been implemented. The FAA is ensuring compliance of all systems by having the systems documentation examined by an independent verification and validation contractor, the DOT Inspector General, and the General Accounting Office."

My best guess is that they were calling the first stab at code remediation "implementation". Obviously, at that point SAIC was conducting a cursory review of their procedures in remediation, but it's obvious by yesterday's announcement that IV & V had not begun by the time the FAA announced 100% Y2K compliance. At best, the FAA was grossly exaggerating their progress. Realistically, it was a damn lie.

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), September 01, 1999.

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