CHALLENGE: Eyewitnesses of Successful Govt Remediation SPEAK UP ! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have read some of the skepticism here of the true level of compliance of both critical and the non-critical government systems. I won't say whether or not I believe the stories sound dubious. My opinion changes nothing anyway.

I am not a regular poster to the TB2000 board, but I would like to offer a challenge of sorts. I am not being facetious here. It would truly be comforting to us all if the challenge can be met.

Allegedly, about 62,000 [implied] non-mission-critical and 6,167 mission-critical systems have been successfully remediated. So, we're looking at about 68,000 compliant systems, representing xxx lines of code and yyy man-hours of effort. [Any estimates on those figures?]

Surely, knowing the scope of the effort, there must be some lurkers or regulars at TB2000 (or other groups) who have actually worked on one of these projects. If so, there should be close to a 100% chance that at least one of them can bear eyewitness testimony to the fact that he/she has seen a project declared finished and that he/she honestly believes the official word.

I'm not asking anyone to breach a non-disclosure contract. But, if you personally have some good news to share with this group, then please do so. Just give us a brief rundown of what Department or Agency you work(ed) for and where the system you helped remediate is located.

Would it be too optimistic for me to expect just one favorable report?

Feel free to link to this challenge in other discussion groups or newsgroups.

-- (anon@this.time), December 16, 1999


I work for a BIG gov't agency that has successfully been using 2000. We are in the February accounting month right now. HOWEVER, that has nothing to do with the source code, so its a bit of an optical illusion. Still, I'm a bit surprised, but tons of resources have been thrown at it, for sure....

-- bb (b@b.b), December 16, 1999.

Didn't Cory work on or have contact with this? Have you read the DC Weather Reports? They provide a forum at least for the remediators in Wash DC, so you may want to skim over the 133 or so documents. I assume you are not a fed, or you would have been at these meetings, or at the very least be current on this source online? I think the concern is not just with completing the code remediation/updates, but also the feasibility of whether such remediation even when 100% compliant will be effective. You see, there remains the question of weather the blood sweat and tears that have been poured into these mainframes have been doomed to fail from the get-go. We may have been barking up the wrong tree for these 11 or so years. Look at DSS, IRS,...and so on...

-- Hokie (, December 16, 1999.

Whole White House claimed Social Security was fully compliant, completely remediated as of last December....except it failed two weeks by screwing up account numbers for approximately 500,000-600,000 users in Washington.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, December 16, 1999.

By the way, none of this should be hidden or cause the person discussing remediation to be hurt or disciplined....after all, THIS IS TO DECLARE A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT that the federal government can brag about....(has already bragged about!)

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, December 16, 1999.


Good to see you.

How are things looking in the greater Atlanta area?

Have a sister just moved to Smyrna...... (I think)

-- mushroom (, December 16, 1999.

Sorry this isn't first hand but it's close....

My significant other has done extensive Y2K remediation for the State of Wisconsin in their Department of Workforce Development (they give the US Labor Department monthly unemployment stats and whatnot).

Anyway, they've been working hard all year and since November have felt like they have successfully completed all their y2K remediated. They've been audited internally for compliance... and they seem satisfied with their efforts.

Now, as far as "do as I say and not as I do," some people in that department are serious Preppers who have about 2-3 weeks of food, water, heat, etc. Others are serious DGI who don't care one bit about y2k.

For what's it's worth, my S-O just installed a wood stove and has about 3 weeks of food.

Just my $.02

-- cheddarhead (, December 16, 1999.


I only lurk in forums because government employees don't want to be quoted. But in this case, I'll pass on what we've found; maybe it will be useful to you.

I work in the State of Texas Year 2000 project office. Part of my job is to monitor several state agencies and universities. This amounts to high-level IV&V work for the most part. Occasionally we get involved in deeper levels depending on the progress a particular agency was making, and on where we think a problem may be occuring.

But we did monitor state agencies and universities continually for the past two years, so I'm confident that there's not much "spin" in the reports they gave us. in addition, the agencies' internal auditors were often heavily involved, so we had backup for our opinions.

Texas started its project late by most standards. Some agencies and universities began as early as 1995. Most got serious only in late '97. A few started as late as mid-98.

By November 20 (date of the latest report--see below), nearly all of our systems, mission critical or not, were done except for genuflecting to the gods of bookkeeping. By "done" we mean code, hardware, data, telecommunications, etc. has been put back into production. By "bookkeeping" I mean obtaining sign-offs from department heads, sending the results to the project office, and things like that.

You can see numerous reports we've produced about our project at According to one bond rating agency, we have more information about our Y2K project than any other state. We did that because the best way to motivate any project is to publicize its progress. And this tactic seems to have worked for us.

We did have some IV&V, mostly sponsored by the Feds. They were very concerned that Medicaid, food stamps, child nutrition, and so on would continue to function. We were uniformly impressed by the rigor with which they performed the IV&V.

One of the universities periodically tested IV&V vendors. None of the vendors lived up to any of the marketing hype. They frequently missed errors that were deliberately introduced into the code. All of them reported errors incorrectly. One vendor's error list was entirely bogus. So we don't have a very high opinion of IV&V at the code level.

The only IV&V that has done us any real good has been when an agency's internal auditors were heavily involved in the remediation project. In a couple of cases they probably made the difference between success and failure. On the whole, I've acquired a huge respect for auditors over the past couple of years.

It looks like we'll spend only 70% to 80% of what we originally budgeted. Much of the "shortfall" (ha! imagine government spending LESS than its budget--is this a great state or what?) is due to overestimating the difficulty of the project. Most agencies did remediation with in-house personnel. Apparently once they got into a regular routine with a set of standard date processing routines and solutions, it took less time than they expected, hence cost less.

We have about 25 OS/390 shops, and most of them set up separate LPARs for testing. None seemed to have the problems Cory writes about. But he does come up with some oddball configurations that state governments are unlikely to have.

After all this $$ has been spent, there is a lot of good news. The best part is that all the big shops now have a complete inventory of all applications, and the best documentation they've ever had. Many now have (new) separate testing environments, new suites of development and testing tools, new configuration management tools, updated operating systems, utilities, compilers, hardware and telecommunications infrastructure. For a few short years everything will be in synch. Keeping it that way is another question, though (the sound of knee slapping and screaming laughter that you hear is coming from mainframers).

Yes, we have had some Y2K problems. One agency forgot to migrate a couple of data files, stuff like that. Early on (1989-1990) we experienced some JAE glitches--about the same time that SSA did. GPS equipment at the Department of Transportation was not a problem and apparently still works well. But on the whole we've had very few glitches compared to what we were expecting, and based on Gartner, Meta, Cutter, and others had predicted.

Embedded systems have been about what Gartner claims. The medical schools discovered nothing that would fail catastrophically in *patient care*. So no one would have died because their ventilator shut down at midnight. The schools did replace about 1.3% of their devices for various reasons, mostly due to billing or logging. Some devices have workarounds such as resetting the date after the rollover. A few *diagnostic* machines had to be replaced because they wouldn't work, though. In one spectacular instance it cost about $70,000 for a new blood analyzer.

So there it is, probably not what some of you wanted to hear. Sorry about that. But nearly every one of the Y2K project leaders in our agencies and universities have the same story. The work got done, and we're experiencing very few residual failures at this point. There are certainly no show stoppers to date.

That's why I don't find it difficult to believe that, on the whole, the Feds are telling us the truth. I don't have trouble believing utilities, either. All of what they're saying matches what we've experienced here.

But we'll know for sure in 15 days. Wishing you the best,

-- Nicholas Osborn (, December 16, 1999.

Mr Osborn I for one am more than glad to hear what you have to report. I have preped because I felt it prudent to do so. Especially for the sake of my 5 year old son. There are still to many variables involved in Y2K as a whole,especially on the international level for one not to. Again we will see what happens as next year play's itself out. I'm just glad I don't live in Alabama.

-- ~***~ (~***~@earth.ebe), December 16, 1999.

As a Texan, I thank you for your efforts, Nicholas.

I hope things are as fine as you say. One favor, though. Could you introduce some fatal code into the TNRCC? You know, the environmental commission that is actually suggesting that it be illegal for Texas residents to drive their vehicle every fourth day?

-- Dog Gone (, December 16, 1999.

So, ... Nicholas Osborn,

I guess either 1) The assistant emergency manager here Corpus Christi is totally off the mark when he addressed our university and suggested that we prep for 2-3 weeks, and not rely on city services because they might be all maxed out due to glitches. He also went on to discuss how they might need to get state and FEMA help, but the chances of getting that help happening would probably be small because FEMA will most likely be streached thin. He also talked on how the urban areas would most likely have power, but he would not vouch for the rural ones. He was very forth comming with information, though I was the only audience member who asked any tough questions. I think they whole thing was set up to speak jsut speak to a couple of computer science classes, but since I'm a graduate student sat in anyway.

or 2) You are here to spread a little state government pollyism.

Moving on:

No spin huh ... I worked for a state agency a few years ago and you would be surprised on all the happy-faced "spin" reports we sent out on many various subjects. Seens that no one want to talk about any negative subjects in fear of losing funding. I couldn't believe all the crap that was spouted, but as they say "good enuf for gov'nment work". In my opinion, you are being open with us, but are you being realistic with yourself? Have you read Texas A&M's assessment of Small Chemical Companies? If you haven't, you are really missing out on how those guys are something to worry about. My city as an over abundance of small chemical plants, and I shudder to thing that we might have some kind of accident, and since the plants are located on the north side of the city, any release might drift over if a north wind is blowing. My god, I hope you guys are right about all your "spin-less" assessments are right, or you will have alot of disturbed Texans roused up.

-- MMireles (, December 16, 1999.


when I said "disturbed Texans roused up" I meant to say:

"have alot of disturbed Texans to deal with."

By the way, I wasn't trying to flame, just abit fed up with all the duality associated with Y2K.


-- MMireles (, December 16, 1999.

Sorry, no one to my knowledge has claimed that the non critical government programs were remdiated. Onlyy the "mission ciritical ones". Something like 54,000 haven't been and recent posts have suggested that any interactions betweeen the remdiated ones and the non remediated ones coiuld corrupt the remediated ones. Do you mean to tell me that the government has removed all contact between the mission ciritical ones and the non remedaited ones? I doubt it. Charlie

-- Charlie (, December 16, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ