Okay, Everybody!: "IIIII'll Leave New Yoooooork". recent Audits and hearings on NYC Y2K sitchiation

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I was reading the transcript of the Bennett/Dodd press conference yesterday, (I forgot who posted the link earlier today, but thanks):


and one of the questioners asked this question:

MR. LIPMAN: Senator Bennett, New York City held a Y2K hearing in the last two weeks. Indications are that there will be major problems. These were not even focused on in the background analysis for the hearing. Doesn't the federal government have a vested interest in making sure that New York and Washington, D.C. remain functional

(Bennett's answer, BTW, was reiterating that cities are on there own. He did not speciffically address NYC)

I hadn't heard anything about any such hearing, so I spent my lunch hour looking for it.

Found some interesting stuff.


Sample:" As of today, all of our client server applications and 87 percent of our mainframe applications are Year 2000 compliant. Our target date for Comptroller's Office systems completion of Year 2000 testing and full compliance is October 1999."

You can (and should) read the rest at: http://www.comptroller.nyc.ny.us/BUREAUS/PRESS/Y2k Testimony.htm

(Careful with that URL. There really IS a space between "Y2k" and "Testimony".)

In the above hearing, Mr Hevesi refers to an ongoing series of Y2K audits. The latest one is discussed in this August 6, 1999 press release which also summarizes audit results to date:


Details from earlier audits are also interred in this surprisngly kludgey website by going to http://www.comptroller.nyc.ny.us , searching for "Y2K", and going through the press releases. For some reason, this site crashed Netscape several times, but Internet Explorer worked.

Be aware that several of these audits are a year or more old, but they seem to have been auditing the "problem children" most recently.

Be sure to look at the DEP. They handle sanitation and sewage treatment. Giant sewer 'gators seem to be the least of their worries

Mara/pshannon- did any of this come up last night at the CC?

All in all, some remarkable details about the Y2K status of the financial capital of the world.

I look forwad to your sharp-eyed analysis.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), September 09, 1999


Good points, Lewis.

At last night's NYC Community "Conversation", Hevesi's name did not come up, although I was hoping it would. During the intro, the deputy mayor did mention that the city council held Y2K hearings last week, and that it was in the newspaper.

I had three questions that I really REALLY wanted to ask, but my first choice was to ask if the city planned to "engage" the local in an effort to get residents to prepare for the 3-day storm they were talking about. I did this not so much to get an answer, but to let the press reps attending know that they were being watched and that there were people who thought the local coverage sucked. They got the message. My second choice would have been to invoke Hevesi's name and the audits you referred to. My third choice would have been to invoke the State Dept and various surveys of global readiness, and to try to find out if the city had studied what kind what kind of impact a global recession or worse would have on the city's financial position.

However, you know how these things go. It was a two hour "conversation" that they promptly cut off, and the first half hour was wasted with an inane film, and introductions of 40 or so reps from city agencies and local utilities. It was really only starting to get cranked up and interesting when it was time to end.

One of the longest riffs was by a guy from the water department. He went into a long explanation about how the water system is gravity fed, including some history of the system, and a joke about how maybe it's a good thing that the system is so old. He said that most buildings in the city that are less than five stories high do not need pumping of any kind (you'd be surprised - that's actually the vast majority of buildings throughout the 5 boroughs) and that most of the big buildings have enough water in tanks on their roofs to last many days, and/or have pumps on-site. He said that as long as the water is available. people can flush the toilets, and therefore don't need to worry about the sewage.

Naturally, there was so little time, and people's questions were all over the board, that nothing was gotten to in-depth.

BTW, Lewis. I thought about you when Kosky was discussing the Navy Report...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), September 09, 1999.


That should have read "...if the city planned to "engage" the local PRESS in an effort..."

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), September 09, 1999.

Just found this on MSNBC's website:

City Y2K assurances fail to soothe some fears.

Naturally, my favorite line is: "The author of a Web site blamed the media for not covering Y2K adequately."

It concludes: "This is not a case of nothing is going to go wrong," (Deputy Environmental Protection Commissioner Joel Miele) said. "It's like getting into your car. Every once in a while the damn thing isn't going to work."

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), September 09, 1999.

Youre famous Patrick! At least... here.



Full-text to your MSNBC link...

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

City Y2K assurances fail to soothe some fears

New York, Sept. 9 - Proving once more that talking about Y2K can be as frustrating as solving the problem, city, state and federal officials met with skepticism when they told New Yorkers that everything would be just fine come Jan. 1.

Wednesday nights community conversation at John Jay College amounted to the government telling people what to expect, and the people, for the most part, seeming to disbelieve it.

From the presidents personal Y2K representative to the guy who oversees city sewers, the experts said New York is largely prepared for Y2K. Thats shorthand for a computer glitch that could cause chaos when the date rolls over to Jan. 1, 2000.

New York officials have been working on the bug since 1995, rewriting computer code, installing new hardware and software and retiring outdated systems.

In explaining their progress Wednesday night, the trouble came when the experts offered cautionary advice.

It might be prudent to stock up on a little extra food, they said. Dont take cash out of the bank Dec. 31, do it Dec. 21 to avoid the rush. No need to think the city will be without water, but a smart landlord should have a backup generator to pump water into his buildings tank. The power wont go out, but if it does, schools will be open to provide shelter.

Those words of wisdom prompted one woman to term the advice doublespeak.

Several of those in the 150-member audience said they were still worried. Some were even a little angry.

We dont want to see martial law, said Anthony Rivera, a city resident and community activist.

One social worker was assured welfare recipients would get their checks on time. But she still admonished the panel to make absolutely sure.

And on it went: The author of a Web site blamed the media for not covering Y2K adequately. An AT&T executive asked the deputy police commissioner for a promise to help if the company if needed.

The seven-member panel of federal, state and local spokespeople said repeatedly that the city would be prepared. Nothing cataclysmic happens on January 1, the ball just drops and we celebrate, said Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota.

But when the two-hour session ended, with people still standing in the aisle waiting to ask questions, it was a remark by Deputy Environmental Protection Commissioner Joel Miele that seemed to stick.

This is not a case of nothing is going to go wrong, he said. Its like getting into your car. Every once in a while the damn thing isnt going to work.

) 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

See also... related thread...

Conversion to Polly(the)ism in NYC--God Bless Koskinen

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

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), September 09, 1999.

Interesting article, thanks Patrick and Diane. Patrick, you're right that there wasn't enough time for questions and discussion. Thinking about the answer even to how the elderly will be cared for if the utilities go off, really, the answer was not sufficient. In fact, there is no plan other than to offer food and shelter. If the electricity is off, how do they intend to get the frail elderly down to the shelter? How much food do they have? Is it already here in the city and available, or is the Red CRoss supposed to bring it in? The reason I harp on the frail elderly is that they will be the first to die and there are so many of this population everywhere here--and in the buildings where I live. These buildings are owned by Met Life. Is there a plan???

One thing in the Times article on last week's City Council hearings was the mention that Hevasi has not yet examined the pension funds ($93 billion) for Y2K savvy investing. That is not a good situation.

I think the ciy will hold or fall based on...luck. If the electricity stays on and the city can get food deliveries, if there's water, the civil chaos will be limited and met with force--or contained (which could be bad for certain neighborhoods). If services go and there's no food and water for even a few days, thousands will die. There will be rotting corposes and spreading disease. Either scenario could unfold. Only time will tell.

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), September 09, 1999.

You know, Mara, they could have (should have?) spent the entire evening addressing only the specifics and subtlties of the question that you asked. The nature of this whole damn thing is that there's no way people can be well informed about all this stuff without practically making it a full-time job! And, unfortunately, the parts of it that would affect the most vulnerable are also the parts of it that are addressed the least.

And so it goes...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), September 09, 1999.

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