State Y2K preparations under fire : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

-- Linkmeister (, October 13, 1999


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State Y2K preparations under fire

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some states are moving precariously close to the new year without correcting Y2K computer problems in state-run programs that affect hundreds of millions of Americans, officials say.

Dates set by some states for completing their computer fixes for such programs as food stamps and Medicaid are ''so close to the turn of the century that the risk of disruption to their programs is substantially increased,'' said Joel Willemssen of the General Accounting Office, the investigative wing of Congress.

Officials from the Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Labor departments on Wednesday told the House Government Reform Committee panel overseeing the Y2K issue that the delays were worrisome, although they were confident service would not be disrupted.

For example, Shirley Watkins, Agriculture's undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, said it would be December before Georgia and Maryland will finish work on computers handling nutrition programs. Both, she said, will have backup systems to prevent service cutoffs in case of computer crashes.

Edward Hugler of the Labor Department said the District of Columbia won't fix its unemployment insurance program until the end of the year, and California still has some work left on its program.

Many older computers read only the last two digits in a year and could malfunction if they mistake the year 2000, or ''00,'' as 1900.

A GAO report issued Wednesday to the Senate Finance Committee listed:

New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and the Virgin Islands as high risk in terms of having their Medicaid benefits systems ready.

Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as high risk for Medicaid information systems.

Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma and the Virgin Islands as lagging in fixing computers related to food stamps.

Alabama, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and the Virgin Islands as still having work to do on their child support enforcement systems.

''This is not acceptable,'' said Rep. Stephen Horn, R-Calif., chairman of the government management subcommittee. ''More than $125 billion in federal taxpayer dollars flows into these programs each year, and millions of American families count on them.''

Federal agencies have been given high marks for moving quickly to fix Y2K problems, but of 43 federal programs deemed ''high impact,'' 10 are administered by the states and not one of those is considered fully Y2K compliant.

Mike Benzen of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives, which represents 48 state chief information officers, said the states overall are doing well, with the 43 member states representing more than 94% of the nation's population now at least 75% compliant.

Benzen said it was hard to classify state performances because the situation changes daily as they rush to complete work. For example, New Mexico, which got a high-risk rating for its Medicaid system, said problems it had in testing its computer upgrades have been resolved, and they expect to get a low-risk rating in the next review.

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Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

-- Linkmeister (, October 13, 1999.

* * * 19991013 Wednesday

Whoa! Talk about Y2K FEAR MONGERS! This SHOULD qualify, BIG TIME!

"... Y2K computer problems in state-run programs that affect hundreds of millions of Americans, officials say."

I mean, gee, folks! There aren't but 270 millions of Americans in America!

Let's see: That's "hundreds of millions" ... so it's at least 200 million (can't be 300 million!); divided by 270 million. ... Good grief, Charlie Brown!!

That's a minimum infliction of "chaos" on _AT LEAST 75%_ of American's lives.

It's going to all be "state's" fault!

This is a pretty doomy outlook! Don't 'cha think?! (Eh, Polly's?!)

Sheesh, they mus' be gettin' real close to droppin' that other boot!

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, October 13, 1999.

Hey Bob,

Many are multiple qualifers. Examp. a mentally handicapped person migh get seven or eight different payments

-- 8 (, October 13, 1999.

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