Senate forms year 2000 committee

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The Senate has created a special committee to oversee year 2000 conversion efforts in the federal government.

The Senate's Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem will hold hearings on federal agencies' progress toward preventing year 2000 snafus from shutting down government services at the turn of the century. The committee will also review year 2000 fixes in state and local governments and in the private sector.

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, will chair the committee. As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Services and Technology, Bennett has held several hearings on year 2000 conversion in the banking industry.

The committee will have seven members--three Democrats and four Republicans. The Senate leadership will announce the committee members after Congress reconvenes Monday. The Senate authorized an annual budget of $575,000 for the committee's operations through Feb. 29, 2000.

The committee will make recommendations to the Senate on what needs to be done to prepare the country for the century change, but will not have the power to report legislation.

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