OMB will issue Year 2000 cost updates

The Office of Management and Budget last week announced it will issue quarterly updates on the federal government's cost of fixing the Year 2000 problem as well as on the agencies' progress in fixing systems. Sally Katzen administrator of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said at a conference on Year 2000 solutions held last week that the reports will track agencies' progress in fixing computer systems that cannot properly recognize the year 2000 against OMB's Year 2000 progress milestones. The reports the first of which will be released in May also will update cost estimates for fixing the problem.

OMB last month reported the federal government would spend $2.3 billion to fix the information technology component of the Year 2000 problem. Industry and government executives questioned OMB's accuracy and agency chief information officers testified before Congress that the cost estimates they provided OMB will probably increase [FCW March 3].

"In all likelihood the numbers will go up " Katzen acknowledged.

But Katzen does not believe the cost will reach the $30 billion that The Gartner Group a Stamford Conn.-based market research firm has predicted.

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