Chief of House Y2K panel pledges funds

The newly appointed chairman of a House task force on the year 2000 computer problem pledged Monday that Congress will provide the executive branch with all the money it needs to prepare federal computer systems for the century change.

Rep. Steve Horn, R-Calif., told a Clinton administration official that the House leadership is committed to setting aside billions of dollars in emergency funding for Y2K computer fixes.

"We don't intend to deny you one penny," Horn said to G. Edward DeSeve, acting deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget at a hearing. "You're going to get every dime you need."

DeSeve said he was concerned that the House might deny the executive branch about $4 billion in emergency funding for the Y2K problem originally included in the Defense and Treasury-General Government appropriations bills. But Horn assured DeSeve that House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., is "very determined" to make that money available to agencies.

The administration expects to spend $5 billion from 1996 to 2000 on year 2000 conversions. Still, DeSeve said the government could use a reserve of funds just in case problems arise.

"As we learn more about how to address this problem, we expect that ensuring governmentwide compliance will require flexibility to respond to unanticipated requirements," DeSeve said.

On Friday, Gingrich appointed Horn and Rep. Connie Morella, R-Md., as co-chairs of a year 2000 task force. In April, the Senate set up a similar task force, led by Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

Horn is the chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology. Morella heads the Science Committee's Technology Subcommittee. Horn has been grading federal agencies' progress on year 2000 fixes, most recently issuing an F to the executive branch for not moving fast enough on the problem. In January, Morella called on President Clinton to provide stronger leadership on Y2K awareness.

The emergency funding debate comes up as more agencies are moving into the testing phase of year 2000 conversions. The testing, or validation, phase, consumes between 50 and 70 percent of the Y2K fixing process, the General Accounting Office estimates. GAO has created a testing guide (GAO/AIMD-10.1.21) to help agencies complete the validation phase. GAO year 2000 guidance is available on the agency's Web site.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.