Clinton says Social Security is ready for Y2K

Clinton says Social Security is ready for Y2K

Social Security recipients can rest easy, because the Social Security Administration's computer systems have been certified 100 percent ready for the year 2000, President Clinton said Monday.

"The millennium bug will not delay the payment of Social Security checks by a single day," Clinton said in a White House ceremony.

Clinton said the agency's systems have been tested and validated by a panel of independent experts. "The system works, it is secure. And therefore, older Americans can feel more secure," he said.

Kathy Adams, the Social Security Administration's assistant deputy commissioner for systems, said it took 2,800 workers, including 700 programmers, to complete the agency's Y2K preparations.

Rep. Steve Horn, R-Calif., chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on Government Information, Management and Technology, said he was pleased with the President's announcement and noted that SSA has received an "A" in his committee's last three report cards on agencies' Y2K efforts. However, Horn noted that SSA has been working on the problem since 1989.

"We hope that the President will continue to focus on this critical issue, since there are thousands of interconnections between federal, state and local governments and the private and non-profit sectors," Horn said in a statement. "And what about the departments and agencies which have started their remediation efforts only within the last few years? The Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Defense, Transportation and State are all failing in their Y2K repair efforts. The administration must focus on these problem agencies ... A little over one year remains. Time is running short."

The Clinton administration has set a goal of ensuring that all critical federal computer systems are Y2K compliant by March 31, 1999.

The Small Business Administration was the first agency to complete year 2000 work on all of its critical systems, ensuring that loans to 24 million small businesses nationwide will not be interrupted in January 2000, according to the Clinton administration.