Y2K work needed on federal support systems

While more than 95 percent of the data exchanges between the federal government and the states are ready for the Year 2000, some states have yet to finish work on systems supporting key federally funded programs, according to a U.S. Office of Management and Budget report issued on Monday.

Over the past year, OMB and federal organizations increasingly have been concerned that even though federal agencies were bringing their computer systems into compliance, some programs might be crippled because of Year 2000 problems in state systems that provide federal agencies with data. OMB has asked the federal agencies to work with the states to ensure that these problems do not occur.

OMB found that of a total of 287 data exchanges between federal agencies and the states, only 11 are not yet compliant. Seventeen federal agencies were completely Year 2000-compliant and had finished testing on both the state and federal sides. Five agencies are involved with the 11 exchanges that remain: the Defense Department, with four; Transportation, with one; the Environmental Protection Agency, with one; Treasury, with four; and NASA, with one.

Numerous states expected compliance across the board by the end of November, but four reported December compliance dates for certain programs: Alabama and Illinois for child support enforcement, and Maryland and Nebraska for child nutrition programs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds the child support enforcement programs, and the Agriculture Department supports the states' child nutrition programs.

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