Y2k chief says he will report regularly to Gore

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Y2K chief says he will report regularly to Gore

By Jim Abrams, Associated Press, 12/27/1999 16:43

WASHINGTON (AP) The White House's top Y2K adviser will report regularly to Vice President Al Gore this weekend as part of a multimillion-dollar effort to monitor computer problems in this country and abroad.

John Koskinen, head of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said Monday it was decided that Gore will be the White House contact on Y2K developments because ''he has been historically monitoring this issue.''

Koskinen also will be briefing President Clinton through the week, officials said.

The council's Information Coordination Center begins 24-hour operations on Thursday, collecting data on possible Y2K computer problems from about 180 countries and all 50 states. It will stay in operation through March, after the Feb. 29 leap year date, which could pose related computer problems.

Koskinen said the first focus of attention will be New Zealand, which will reach midnight at 6 a.m. EST. Of key interest is whether computer problems affect any of that country's basic public services such as power, telecommunications, air traffic control or local transportation.

He also stressed again, however, that while some countries may experience computer-related problems in the coming weeks and months, both private and public sectors in the United States have prepared well to assure that services will not be interrupted. Problems could occur in some older computers that read only the last two digits of a date and could mistake 2000, or ''00,'' for 1900.

Koskinen's office has succeeded in calming some public fears about Y2K-related breakdowns in basic services, he said. ''There is no reason for anyone to disrupt their lives in any way,'' he said.

Rumors of major failures are down, he said, and officials have seen no indication of an increase in bank withdrawals or runs on gas stations. The council's advice to Americans is to stock extra water, food and batteries as they would for a winter storm of several days.

One problem for the council, Koskinen said, will be to determine which reports of disruptions are Y2K-related and which are not. For example, about 1 percent of ATM machines normally are out of service, and people shouldn't immediately conclude that a malfunctioning ATM machine has a Y2K bug.

Since the federal government already is operating in fiscal year 2000, and credit card and other billing companies are sending out bills with 2000 dates, there have been some incidents of the 1900 date cropping up, Koskinen said, ''but these have been handled without any significant inconvenience to anyone.''

Koskinen plans to take the shuttle flight from Washington to New York on New Year's Eve to show his confidence in the safety of the nation's airways. ''I have no reason to have any concern about flying at all,'' he said. But he added that air traffic controllers could slow down arrivals, which would lead to congestion, if a computer problem appears.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), December 27, 1999


Gore and the Info. Coordination Center with Kosky will fix all the bad code and chips. After all, he invented the Internet.

This is all to spin the truth as usual. The politicians are powerless in this situation.

-- PJC (paulchri@msn.com), December 27, 1999.

Hmmm, getting a scapegoat involved at the last minute...I wonder why Al went for it!

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), December 27, 1999.

Why do these two together conjure up a picture in my mind of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy?

But which one is the REAL dummy?

-- profit of doom (doom@helltopay.ca), December 27, 1999.

If Y2K is a real mess, Bradley and McCain will benefit. Goerge W and VP Gore could become tainted with the problems. (works for me)

-- Nancy (wellsnl@hotmail.com), December 27, 1999.

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