GAO Report Finds Only Two Major Cities Y2K-Ready

Boston and Dallas are the only two major cities in the country that are Year-2000 compliant, according to a General Accounting Office report released Thursday.

Both cities reported being Year 2000-compliant this month, while Dallas has also finished its contingency planning, a formal plan for how the city will respond to disruptions caused by software glitches.

The report was released in conjunction with a hearing held by the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. Telephone interviews about the 21 largest cities in the United States were conducted between June 28 and July 9. The survey asked city officials for information on crucial city services, such as water and wastewater, transportation, telecommunications, hospitals and health care facilities, emergency services, electric power, city government services and public buildings.

The GAO report said that New York City, Houston and Memphis, Tenn., will be ready in August, and a number of other cities, including Philadelphia and San Diego, should be Year 2000-compliant by September.

Baltimore and El Paso, Texas, reported that they will not be Year 2000-compliant until December. El Paso only needs to update its police department, but Baltimore still has work to do regarding its hospital and health care facilities, transportation services, public buildings, 911 systems and other areas, according to the GAO report.

The GAO report coincides with a National League of Cities report that also was released this week. NLC polled more than 400 cities and found 92 percent vouched that all of their critical computer systems would be Year 2000-compliant by Jan. 1.

The NLC report listed public safety, water and wastewater systems, utility services, finances and tax records as city leaders' top priorities for Year 2000 compliance.

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