Center gives global view of Y2K problems

With fewer than 50 days until the Year 2000, the federal government is approaching its final test on procedures for tracking and analyzing all the information on potential national and international problems that may occur because of bad date code.

The federal Information Coordination Center, based in Washington, D.C., will be collecting information from around the world on incidents occurring hours before and well after the year rollover [FCW July 19].

The center will analyze the information, put it in context and then send it to the appropriate agency to handle any response that might be needed, John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said today.

In addition to developing a baseline to determine what is "normal" performance for computers vs. what may be caused by Year 2000 problems, the ICC has been working since its creation in June with federal, state and local agencies to develop a reporting and information-sharing system nationwide.

States, the ICC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have developed software and tools that will enable them to have a simultaneous nationwide view of emergency situations. The state and local agencies are training employees on the system, and the full stress test of the entire system will come the first week of December, Koskinen said.

This information will be combined with data coming from the systems of federal agencies and private industry.

Regular status reports will be posted for citizens on the council's World Wide Web site (www.y2k.gov), which essentially will become the ICC's home page for the days surrounding Jan. 1, Koskinen said.

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