Federal Y2K glitches compiled


Federal agencies did not come to a grinding halt because of the year 2000 computer bug, but minor glitches were reported around the government. The problems were so few and far between, that officials had to defend the $8.5 billion Uncle Sam spent combating the Y2K bug.

Some malfunctions did occur, and federal Y2K czar John Koskinen has urged people to be on the lookout for more minor glitches.

"We are likely to see glitches pop up here and there in the coming days and weeks, but I think they will be localized and transitory and will not pose a threat to the nation's economy," Koskinen said Jan. 3.

For the record, here's a round-up of glitches in federal systems, as reported by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion. All theses glitches were fixed, according to the council:

  • Four systems at the Federal Housing Administration experienced minor Y2K-related problems late in the day on Jan. 3. Two of the systems, which manage administrative reports, caused incorrect dates to be displayed on reports. Another system prevented users from terminating mortgages. On a fourth system, a fix to correct file expiration dates created permanent files that could not be deleted.
  • The Housing and Urban Development department reported the Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System automatically proposed a start date of "01/01/19:0".
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temporarily disabled an online river gauge function while it installed a Y2K-compliant database product.
  • A Y2K glitch at a Chicago area bank interrupted electronic Medicare payments to some health care providers. Until the problem was fixed, Medicare contractors sent diskettes by Federal Express or courier to get the payments through.
  • A lock failed at a Food and Drug Administration leased facility in Kansas.
  • The alarm systems at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston malfunctioned.
  • Guam is manually processing federal food stamp benefits because its systems are not Y2K-compliant.
  • At Amtrak's Philadelphia Control Center, train symbols were not retained as trains moved through the system.
  • The Naval Observatory Web page contained an error that caused the date to read "19100" for a brief period following the rollover.
  • The energy management system at a federal building in Chicago displayed the date as Jan. 4, 1980. It was reset manually. Two other federal buildings in Illinois reported date display problems in their security systems.
  • A security access system at a federal facility in Omaha, Neb., was stuck in the open position after the rollover.
  • A Federal Aviation Administration system stopped processing some Notices to Airmen because the software failed to recognize years ending in "0."
  • An automatic backup to the central computer complex at the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center failed to activate after the rollover.
  • Nevada experienced a glitch in the system that processes Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Child Welfare claims for people born in 1990.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' information system relating to gun dealer licenses malfunctioned.
  • A fire alarm system at the Financial Management Service (FMS) office in Lenexa, Kan., was activated at approximately midnight Jan. 1.
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