Open Letter to Congressman Stephen Horn (from Westergaard)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Open Letter to Congressman Stephen Horn By Warren Bone November 4, 1999
Dear Mr. Horn,
I have been involved in the Year 2000 issue since mid-1996. I was Year 2000 Project Director and Manager for Gaylord Entertainment Company (NYSE: GET) in Nashville, Tennessee for over three years. (Gaylord owns the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center [largest in the world], the Grand Ole Opry, CMT International cable networks, music recording and publishing, broadcasting, and about sixty other companies worldwide.) I was with the company for twenty years in IT management.
I am now in private practice with Year 2000.
Since mid-1996 I have fully dedicated my time to research related to Year 2000: international, national, local, systems, economics, law, everything.
I am sending you, for your information, the attached document which I have written.
My goal in creating this white paper is to put some of the facts and issues together in one place, in one document, for easier comprehension. Most people have difficulty "putting it all together" since we see so many seemingly unrelated articles and news stories on the subject.
In the document I have referenced all sources of information with footnotes, including the web-address links to the sources. Some of these reference your statements.
I have tried to document all information as factually and honestly as possible. I have, however, formed my own opinion based on the facts.
You will recognize the topics I am covering, since you have also expressed great concern over these issues. I ask you to please pay close attention to the section on Small Businesses, and especially my footnotes and explanations on pages 1-3, which explain the misinterpretations everyone has made of the NFIB small business survey. (At least, I have interpreted the survey results differently than what I am seeing in all the news reports.)
Perhaps even more important is my section on the Federal Government's lack of readiness, and my documented reasons to believe Mr. Koskinen and the agencies have reclassified several thousand mission critical systems in order to make the federal government's Y2K readiness look better than it actually is.
So, Mr. Horn, I myself did not realize what the big picture looked like until I started gathering all the real facts and putting them in one place...the table I created based on the Quarterly Reports opened my eyes to an obvious pattern. From that I drew my own conclusions. Others will do the same.
Thank you for your time. Please use my information as you can. And we appreciate you and your committee staying on top of this.
If I can be of any assistance at all to you, please contact me right away. Phone, write or e-mail.
Best Wishes, and Best of Luck to us all,
Warren Bone, MBA/Year 2000 Consultant Nashville, Tennessee
PS: When you ask about those thousands of systems which Mr.Koskinen and the agencies determined "are not really mission critical after all, even though we said they were when we did our initial inventory" ... Mr. Koskinen is going to explain that the agencies did not understand which of their own systems were really mission critical to their own operations, and which were not. (But who knows better than they do about what is critical to their own agency?) He will also explain that many of those mission critical systems have been "retired." "Retired" means it is no longer needed...no need to fix it, no need to upgrade it, no need to replace its functionality with anything at all. But how can one say a system, and all it does for the business or agency, is mission critical one day, then turn around later and say it is no longer needed so we can actually just throw it out? (Remember, I was a Year 2000 Project Manager myself, and one can throw away (retire) a system of "moderate impact" or "minimal impact," but you surely cannot do that with something that has "FATAL" or "CRITICAL" impact.)
Please let me suggest something (2000 is almost here, so your committee needs to resolve this immediately with the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion):
1) Demand that you be given a list NOW, from each agency, of every single system that was identified by that agency as being mission critical as of the November 15, 1997 reporting. That will total 8,589 mission critical systems.
2) For each and every one of those, the agency or the "Council" must designate its disposition: determined it should not have been listed as mission critical in the first place -- we made a mistake? -- we don't know what is critical to our operation and what is not? -- (with an explanation of why); determined it actually was mission critical but is no longer needed so we retired it/threw it out/it is no longer running -- (explain how that can be; if it was critical how could you throw it out?); other explanations.
3) Immediately conduct an independent review/onsite survey at each agency to determine if those systems really are still mission critical or not.
Mr. Horn, having been there, I know exactly what is happening: identify, inventory and determine the impact (Fatal, Critical, Moderate, Minimal, etc.) Count'em. You will see the pyramid immediately: a small number of high impact/mission critical systems at the top (8,589) followed by a larger number of lesser impact/non-mission critical systems at the bottom (60,000 plus). Work on the priority systems at the top. Find out there are too many of even those than you can handle. REPRIORITIZE the top of the pyramid (which is exactly the word used by Koskenin in the Reports) by reclassifying mission critical systems. If they were mission critical then, then they are still mission critical now. And you haven't even touched the second layer. Or...you've made the mistake of spending your resources working on the second and third layer of the pyramid because some of those are easier to fix.
(My apologies for making this so lengthy, Mr. Horn. I know your time is valuable, but I'm afraid this is the most critical event in our history. I do want you to know that I am sincere in my concern, not just of the federal government's project, but of the entire worldwide problems we are about to face. In 1963 I joined the U.S. Marines. In 1965 and 1966 I was fighting in Vietnam. That pretty much put things into perspective for me from that point on. Now I am seeing something else happen that could have been prevented. We don't listen to the troops -- we don't listen to the "programmers" -- until it's too late.)
Read Warren Bone's Bio
-- Helium (Heliumavid@yahoo.com), November 04, 1999
Link to the at tached document referenced in the letter above.
-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), November 04, 1999.