OMB warns agencies about reintroducing Y2K errors

The Office of Management and Budget this week asked agencies to develop a plan that protects their Year 2000-compliant systems from regulatory actions or information technology changes that could reintroduce software date errors in the fixed computers.

In a memo issued May 17, OMB director Jacob Lew asked the heads of executive departments and agencies to possibly delay or find alternatives when establishing statutory responsibilities that could affect federal computer systems and have an adverse effect on an agencies' Year 2000 readiness.

Lew said complying with a new or rewritten regulation often requires agencies to rewrite software code in information systems. By doing so, agencies can inadvertently introduce Year 2000 errors into systems that have been certified as Year 2000-compliant.

"While I understand the importance of agencies achieving their regulatory goals, it is important that these goals be timed in such a way that time-sensitive work on the Year 2000 problem not be jeopardized,'' Lew said.

Lew asked agencies to briefly summarize in a report to OMB how they will comply with his memo.

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