The $50 million Y2k Information Coordination Center will be closed March 31 : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread


Year 2000 center closing shop

BY Diane Frank


The Office of Management and Budget is closing down the $50 million Year 2000 Information Coordination Center. The center will be closed March 31.

The Clinton administration created the ICC to serve as the central coordination site for nationwide response to Year 2000-related incidents during the Dec. 31, 1999, to Jan. 1, 2000, transition. Under John Koskinen, head of the Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion, and Gen. Peter Kind (Ret.), the ICC gathered and shared incident information among representatives from all of the federal, state and local government agencies and industry.

"The ICC played a critical role in helping assure smooth operations at a critical moment," said Linda Ricci, an OMB spokeswoman. "Now that the mission has been accomplished to everyones satisfaction, the ICC will be closing its operations, and the equipment will be going to FEMA."

Many in government have said that the Year 2000 experience has been very helpful to both government and industry, especially the proof that many agencies and companies can work together to reach solutions.

"Y2K showed that agencies can work together, and those that participated...will probably remember that when the next crisis comes up," said Bruce McConnell, head of the International Y2K Cooperation Center.

-- (, March 24, 2000


The $40 million Y2K Information Coordination Center.



By Jim Landers / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON - White House officials are preparing a millennium war room to monitor possible disasters from around the country and the world stemming from the year 2000 computer glitch.

The $40 million Information Coordination Center will get started this week with limited tests built around possible computer malfunctions associated with the date 9-9-99 - Thursday, Sept. 9, 1999.

Few computer problems are expected, but officials at the center and at ancillary emergency data centers elsewhere in Washington plan to use the date for a millennium trial run.

The federal government is mobilizing what could be the largest peacetime emergency response effort in U.S. history to deal with the main event - Jan. 1, 2000.

From the moment the New Year begins at midnight in New Zealand (6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31 in Dallas), a rolling wave of information will head toward the Information Coordination Center, on two floors of an old Secret Service office 1 1/2 blocks from the White House.

John Koskinen, President Clinton's Y2K czar, says the center will feed information to the president and two senior multiple agency working groups - one for domestic crises, and one for international problems.

"The critical infrastructure industries and the federal agencies have readied themselves for the Y2K problem," Mr. Koskinen said. "It's not at this point an emergency response mobilization, because we're not out dealing with emergencies. It will be the largest event-monitoring effort in the history of the federal government."

State of readiness

The Information Coordination Center will have a staff of about 40 crisis management specialists led by retired Lt. Gen. Peter Kind, former director of the Army's information systems network.

The Y2K information center has its own electric generator and will be stocked with provisions for the New Year's weekend. If the center loses its communications links or otherwise goes down, responsibility will be transferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

After further tests in October and November, the center will become fully operational Thursday, Dec. 30. It will remain in business until March, or after the leap year date of Feb. 29, 2000, to ensure federal readiness if other computer problems occur, Mr. Koskinen said.

FEMA normally handles the government's response to disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.

But FEMA is subordinate in the Y2K response plan. Its responsibility will be to get status reports from state, municipal and tribal governments across the country to feed into the Y2K war room.

Industry emergency centers for electric power, oil and gas are being established in Washington, and more than a dozen other industry associations will set up emergency centers.

Federal emergency centers with the departments of energy, health and human services, justice and transportation will take reports about critical parts of the nation's infrastructure and feed them to the Y2K war room.

The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center and the federally sponsored Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh will file reports on any cyber attacks mounted by hackers or terrorists.

Crisis managers

The Y2K war room will be at the apex of a pyramid of hundreds of crisis managers from every state, city and town in the country. Rather than having every mayor or emergency coordinator phoning the Y2K war room to learn what's going on, information will move to ever- smaller groups of managers until it reaches the Information Coordination Center.

The State Department will collect reports from U.S. embassies across the globe, and the Defense Department will gather data from all its military posts overseas and at home.

"When you think about this, you're thinking about status reports from around the world and around the country arriving more or less all at once, so the art form from the start is to make sure you don't get swamped with information," Mr. Koskinen said.

Because the international dateline runs through the Pacific Ocean, the coordination center will be able to sift information about the impact of computers rolling over to the year 2000 for 17 hours before it reaches Washington.

Countries such as New Zealand and Britain plan to provide direct reports to the U.S. center.

Meanwhile, year 2000 coordinators in 195 countries expect to file reports of any computer failures with the U.N. International Y2K Cooperation Center, in Washington just two blocks from the U.S. Y2K war room.


-- (y2k@history.buff), March 24, 2000.

Did we need it?

-- (Foresight@and.hindsight), March 24, 2000.

Did we need it? Will we need it? That's a better question. I noticed that the new "command centers" in our area have bomb shelters, along with secure areas. Fears of conspiracies aside, it still looks like someone is worried about a war and perhaps used Y2K as an excuse to update and upgrade some of the old Cold War protection plans.

Please don't send me links to "sightings" and the various conspiracy sites. I'm well aware of the current discussions and think most of them are bunk in the light of what's going on in China and Russia. No need to add shadows to an already tense world situation.

-- (, March 24, 2000.

Another article about the $40 million Y2k operations center, from November.


-- (November@of.1999), March 25, 2000.

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