Administration may rely on National Security Council telecom systems if Year 2000 shutdowns occur

John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, told industry today that the National Security Council will allow the administration to use its telecommunications systems to coordinate disaster relief if massive system shutdowns occur when the Year 2000 arrives.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting hosted by Federal Sources Inc., Koskinen said the government is looking at the contingency plan for moving into "crisis-management mode" because some federal computer systems will not be ready for the Year 200. "It's clear [that] not every system will work, and we will need to plan for shortfalls," he said, stressing that he did not want to appear alarmist.

Koskinen also noted that one of the biggest problems the federal government faces is its computer interfaces with other countries, which he said are far behind in their Year 2000 conversion work. Citing a recent survey that showed that at least half of the countries worldwide have not started the process of converting their computers to properly record the Year 2000 date, Koskinen said the problem could result in a serious foreign policy problem that could threaten political stability.

Closer to home, Koskinen said Congress must consider any new legislation in light of how it would affect agencies' Year 2000 conversion work. Recently, officials at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services complained that legislation affecting their agencies has increased their workload, requiring programmers to recode systems to make them compliant with new laws. "We can't afford to play games over the next 20 months," Koskinen said.

Although he said he believes it is "unlikely" that federal agencies' Year 2000 costs would reach $10 billion over the next 20 months, Koskinen did say he would push for the establishment of "a pool of funds of $25 million" to be distributed to smaller agencies that need money to fix their computers. The Office of Management and Budget estimated in February that federal Year 2000 conversion work would cost $4.7 billion.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.