OMB: Agencies ready for daylight-saving time shift

Although industry information technology leaders are worried about the effect of the upcoming change to daylight-saving time on IT systems, federal systems are prepared, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Representatives from the agency said OMB surveyed federal chief information officers and found that most were well prepared for the upgrade of IT infrastructure, which will include almost all their desktop and laptop computers and portable devices running operating systems.

“We are pleased to report minor to no impact is anticipated for the majority of agencies,” OMB spokeswoman Andrea Wuebker said.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed the start and end dates of daylight-saving time, lengthening the total time of daylight savings to four weeks each year. Clocks will now shift forward one hour March 11 and back one Nov. 4. The new time rule takes effect March 11.

IT executives are concerned that the time shift could cause problems with machines’ automatic time adjustments. Industry IT leaders described the volume of upgrades because of the time shift as comparable to the Year 2000 millennium bug, when outdated systems would interpret the year 2000 as the year 1900. Millions of systems worldwide were upgraded to fix that bug.

The purpose of extending daylight-saving time is to provide net energy savings based on when people typically go to sleep and wake up.

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