GAO issues Y2K planning guide

The General Accounting Office this week released a planning and operations guide for federal agencies to use in the critical days surrounding the Year 2000 rollover.

Most agencies already have developed and put in place their continuity and contingency plans for the Year 2000 problem, but the period from Dec. 30, 1999, to Jan. 4, 2000, presents special challenges, the guide states.

GAO issued "Year 2000 Day One Planning and Operations Guide" to urge agencies to develop a strategy for that period to further reduce the impact of the Year 2000 problem on agency operations.

Based on the plans and guidance developed by the Social Security Administration, IBM Corp. and the Legislative Branch Y2K Group, the guide covers four phases and maps out key tasks in the following areas:

Initiation: establish a Day One project workgroup and planning strategy and develop a master schedule and milestones.

Rollover risk assessment, planning and preparation: assess the risk of internal and external failures, develop plans and establish command centers, identify activities and processes for pre- and post-rollover periods, and develop communications plans.

Rehearsal: define, document and perform rehearsal plans and update and revise as needed.

Execution, monitoring, responding and reporting: perform the rollover procedures and tests, identify and resolve problems, and report the status to management.

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