States put Y2K freeze on computer buys

Some states have put moratoriums on computer purchases and upgrades until the Year 2000 date-change scare is well behind them.

California, Maine and Utah are among the states that have instituted such freezes. They want to protect their newly Year 2000-compliant systems from any corruptive additions, state officials explained.

In California, if an agency wants to upgrade hardware or software, such as an operating system, they must re-test to make sure it won't hurt the Year 2000 remediation, California's chief information officer, Elias Cortez, said.

California's moratorium is statewide through Feb. 29, Cortez said. Purchase requests until then go through the department's CIO, the department director and finally the Department of Information Technology in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Services.

Maine began a freeze on changes in production systems Nov. 1 that will last through the first of the year, Maine CIO Bob Mayer said. Any change requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis, he said.

In Utah, although CIO Dave Moon said the state has not instituted any type of buying freeze, there won't be any changes to the mainframe software configuration through the end of the year.

"All of our agencies share that environment, so there will be no wholesale changes to it," Moon said.

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