Y2K lesson: Teamwork counts

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"The Y2K sentries"

As the Year 2000 Information Coordination Center officially closes its doors

at the end of this month, Peter Kind, the ICC director, attributes much

of the program's success to cooperation and teamwork.

"People are really what make it happen," Kind said, speaking last week

at the GovTech 2000 conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by FCW Government

Technology Group.

But for people to be successful, Kind said, they must have fast, reliable

equipment and managerial support. "If you want to make the process efficient,

give them the tools," he said. "Properly led and motivated people get the

job done."

Under John Koskinen, head of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion,

the ICC collected, analyzed and shared Year 2000 incident information among

federal, state and local government agencies and industry.

The ICC World Wide Web site had more than 3 million hits on Dec. 31,

1999. But aside from a few Year 2000-related incidents such as a Defense

Department satellite that failed and the 4,000 small businesses that did

not download compliant software, the rollover occurred without incident,

Kind said.

Many challenges were associated with creating the ICC, including recruiting

the staff, building a facility, securing a budget and determining the information

technology structure, Kind said. In addition, the ICC had to train more

than 400 people in 56 states and territories.

Kind said the lessons learned from the ICC experience include proof

that it's possible to gather information from domestic and international

governments and private industry and make it available in a timely manner.

To keep track of the data pouring in from state, local and federal agencies

and industry, the ICC created a near-real-time reporting system. The system

summarized the data at a high level but could also drill down for more detail,

Kind said. That system and other hardware and software belonging to the

ICC has been transferred to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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