Y2K czar declares feds will be ready for 2000

The Clinton administration today announced that 92 percent of the federal government's 6,123 mission-critical systems have met the self-imposed March 31 deadline for all systems to be Year 2000-compliant.

Agencies are fixing or testing the remaining 8 percent and expect to reinstall those systems by summer, said John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, who spoke during a press conference at the National Press Club.

"The federal government will be ready for the Year 2000,'' Koskinen said. "The fact that over 90 percent of critical systems are Y2K-compliant a full nine months before the end of the year is a tribute to the thousands of dedicated and skilled federal employees who have been working to ensure that government operations and services function normally through the date change.''

Thirteen of the 24 major federal departments have reported that all of their mission-critical systems are compliant. All of the remaining departments, with the exception of U.S. Agency for International Development, report that at least 85 percent of their mission-critical systems are ready.

Koskinen said USAID should complete their system fixes and testing by the summer. Ed DeSeve, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said the departments have another deadline to meet. By June 15, DeSeve wants each department to submit to OMB contingency plans for how agencies will offer public services if computers fail next year.

The Social Security Administration and the General Services Administration are among the departments that are leading the way in developing contingency plans, DeSeve said.He said the challenge now is for agencies to have backup plans in case federal programs that are managed at the state level are affected. Such programs include food stamps and child support services.

"As agencies complete work on the systems that support federal programs, they will turn their attention to working with other federal agencies, states and other partners to test end-to-end their programs and demonstrate that federal services will be delivered to the public without interruption,'' DeSeve said.

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