Trick or Treat? The Fed Gov is READY for Y2K (Bwhahaha) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am afraid that it is a trick, read the whole article

Spin, Spin, Spin, for every season, Spin, Spin Spin

Saturday October 30 1:27 AM ET

Fed Says It's Ready for Y2K

By JIM ABRAMS Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Social Security Administration is readying jet-fueled generators, the Internal Revenue Service is prepared to write tax refund checks manually and the Pentagon is sharing secrets with the Russians as part of a government effort to avoid crises related to the Y2K computer problem.

IRS chief information officer Paul Cosgrave, questioned at a House hearing Friday about concerns that the tax agency was prone to Y2K disruptions, gave assurances that systems are ready and no one will lose a refund check.

Federal agencies are given high marks for fixing computers so they won't misread the year 2000 for 1900, a mistake that could cause widespread computer breakdowns. Friday's hearing focused on the contingency plans the agencies have for unexpected problems and what they'll be doing just before and after the new year.

The White House office on the Y2K problem, headed by John Koskinen, is to run an information coordination center to monitor developments in the public and private sectors as the new year begins. Most agencies will have command centers to assure a smooth transition to the new millennium.

John Dyer of the Social Security Administration said his agency will take its system off-line on Dec. 30 to allow the collection of all 1999 computer transactions, and that just before midnight on the 31st the main data center in Baltimore will switch to jet-fueled generators to guard against electrical surges.

Dr. Martin Langston, the Defense Department's top Y2K official, said the on-duty staff will be boosted by up to 10 percent in the New Year period. Russian military officials will arrive in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Dec. 22 for a joint exercise aimed at assuring that problems in early warning tracking systems don't lead to mistaken perceptions that the other side has launched a missile.

Norman Lorentz, chief technology officer of the Postal Service, said the mail agency has placed a freeze on all computer systems changes through March. Postal officials expect more people to mail letters because of concerns about the reliability of computer e-mail.

Joel Willemssen of the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the Education Department is encouraging schools to obtain information before Jan. 1 so it won't have problems in determining student financial aid eligibility.

The Veterans Affairs Department has suggested that its hospitals prepare bottled water and stock waterless soap for the possibility that water supplies are interrupted.

The focus on the IRS arose from an Oct. 15 letter by agency Commissioner Charles Rossotti to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas, in which he said ``the quality of the IRS' inventory (equipment) currently poses a high risk to the Y2K effort.''

He added that the IRS had taken steps to improve the accuracy of its computer systems and that ``if problems surface when the clocks roll over into the new year, we will be prepared to deal with them before they begin to affect taxpayers.''

Cosgrave said the IRS has been working for about 15 years on the problem of highly decentralized records in some 800,000 pieces of equipment, with the accuracy rate now increased to 90 percent.

He said 99 percent of the IRS' key computer systems are Y2K-compliant, and many of those systems were successfully tested during the 1999 filing season.

The IRS will resort to issuing refunds manually if automatic systems failed, but that shouldn't pose a problem because the agency doesn't start sending many refunds until the end of January, Cosgrave said.

Make a name for yourself online!

-- Helium (, October 30, 1999


Unless these contingency plans have run through a couple drills- ie, all targetted IRS personnel at all offices across the country spend an hour processing returns manually, posting the payables, and cutting checks manually.... Unless those generators have been kicked into gear across the country a couple times, with all personnel doing their jobs under the contingency conditions... those 'contingency plans' are so much smiley vaporware.

-- Naughty (Not@nice.fool), October 30, 1999.

The questions I have about the testimony:

1) It contadicted the IRS Commissioner's letter warning of "high risk" to the White House dated 10/15/99.

2) Whenever Joel Williamson of the GAO is asked if the IRS will function, he does not answer the question. He says the best thing about the IRS is it's commissioner! (As a parent, I am use to the change the subject evasion tactic!)

3) Congressman Horn's 9/19/99 Report Card said the only 7 of 43 high impact federal PROGRAMS were compliant. One of the non-compliant programs was THE U.S. POST OFFICE !

Where was this discussion and WHERE WAS CONGRESSMAN HORN?

4) The District of columbia has announced that it won't be ready and in working on contingency plans. Where was that discussion? If the Feds can't get to work due to infrastructure problems, what about PLAN #2?

-- jones (, October 30, 1999.

The focus on the IRS arose from an Oct. 15 letter by agency Commissioner Charles Rossotti to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas, in which he said "the quality of the IRS' inventory (equipment) currently poses a high risk to the Y2K effort."

Anybody have the text of the actual Rossotti letter to Archer? Apparently, it is in the public record, having been quoted here by AP.

-- Zach Anderson (, October 30, 1999.

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