Feds issue final Y2K report

Two mission-critical computer systems run by the Justice Department and six run by the military remain unready for the Year 2000 date change, but the noncompliant systems will not degrade law enforcement or national security, according to the White House.

In its final 1999 report on preparing federal computer systems to operate properly on and after Jan. 1, 2000, the Office of Management and the Budget said eight mission-critical computer systems out of 6,167 federal computer systems remain unready.

Of the military systems, only a "wing command and control" system, which is used to communicate with military aircraft, requires a "workaround" to avoid date-change problems. The system was to be replaced by a theater battle management system, but that system is late.

The other five noncompliant military systems either suffer from minor problems, such as a faulty clock display in the M-1A2 tank, or are obsolete. A noncompliant accounting system that keeps track of retirement points earned by military personnel, for example, will be replaced at the end of the year.

The two Justice Department systems are expected to be made Year 2000-ready by the end of the year. They are office automation systems that support the Drug Enforcement Agency and Justice's Tax Division.

OMB said federal computer systems are "99.9 percent" ready for the Year 2000 date change, but administration officials warned that "there will undoubtedly be some Y2K problems that emerge."

However, the computers most likely to malfunction because of the date change are those operated by state and local agencies, not federal agencies.

States administer several large federal programs, including food stamps, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. Among the 55 states and territories, only 41 have completely prepared for the Year 2000 problem, OMB reported.

Alabama, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have the greatest number of noncompliant computer systems. Each manages at least three federal programs using noncompliant computer systems.

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