Four at-risk agencies make Y2K progress

Four federal agencies that were behind in fixing their Year 2000 problems have made progress in repairing their systems, and they expect their successes to be reflected in the final Year 2000 quarterly report that focuses primarily on agencies' readiness, which is due out in June.

The Office of Management and Budget plans to release the ninth quarterly report in June to highlight the efforts agencies have made since March in fixing federal computers for the Year 2000 bug.

In the June report, officials with the four agencies that OMB and Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) listed as critically behind in Year 2000 fixes expect their agencies to be reclassified as showing better progress. The four agencies are the departments of State, Transportation, and Health and Human Services and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

According to reports obtained by FCW, State reported that all 59 of its mission-critical systems are compliant, and DOT reported that 92 percent of its 608 mission-critical systems are compliant. HHS reported that 99 percent of its 284 mission-critical systems are compliant, and USAID reported that three of its seven mission-critical systems are complaint and all should be fixed by July.

HHS' Health Care Financing Administration and DOT's Federal Aviation Administration continually have lagged behind in Year 2000 fixes, but both agencies have reported progress in the latest reports. All of HCFA's 100 external and internal mission-critical systems are fixed and have been reinstalled, according to the HHS quarterly report.

Mortimer Downey, deputy secretary of Transportation, said in a letter that accompanied DOT's quarterly report that the FAA has reinstalled 80 percent of its 423 mission-critical systems and is on target to be finished by June 30. But Downey said he remains concerned with the potential consequences of external delays in two primary areas: telecommunications and off-the-shelf software.

"The telecommunications industry has announced that it will not be Y2K-compliant until later this year,'' Downey said. "The inability to conduct validation activities using compliant telecommunications increases the risk of potential problems as the millennium approaches.

"In addition, delays by major providers in delivery of certified Y2K-compliant off-the-shelf software, such as office automation tools, has hampered the ability to adequately test the products prior to Y2K, thereby increasing the risk that problems will occur," he said.

OMB plans to release subsequent reports but will focus on other Year 2000 issues that could impact the federal government. "The focus of the reports will shift to look more at contingency plans and efforts in the high-impact programs and state-administered programs,'' said Jack Gribben, a spokesman for the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion. "I would say there is still a lot of work to be done. OMB reports will continue throughout the remainder of 1999.''

***

Y2K status report

Percent of mission-critical systems Y2K-compliant

Number of systems

State—59DOT—608HHS—289USAID—7

Percent compliant in March

State—61DOT—53HHS—87USAID—0

Percent compliant in April

State—100DOT—92HHS—99USAID—43

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