Move beyond talk on Year 2000

It was good news and bad news for agencies at last week's hearing on the Year 2000 held by the House Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on Government Management Information and Technology. The panel's leadership was pleased with the increased visibility the code-fix problem has achieved but it was equally displeased with how agencies have pushed the deadlines to the limit in many cases to the final quarter of 1999.

That's a pretty good summation of the government's Year 2000 effort to date. Yes agencies are aware of the problem and are in stages of assessing and fixing systems. But the cold reality is that this awareness and apparent earnestness may be too late.

General Accounting Office officials acknowledge that it just is not realistic to assume that all systems will be fixed before the deadline. The key tasks for agencies now are to evaluate systems determine which are critical to the basic functions of government public safety and national security and get to work. Government overseers would be wise to let agencies focus on this work.

Numbers games report card exercises and unrealistic goal setting should be shelved in favor of more constructive help. GAO has launched a guide for assessing Year 2000 plans. Emphasis on human resources requirements and automated tools used to speed agency efforts to fix the problem also would go a long way toward a solution.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.