Senators to look at Y2K contingency plans

Senators to look at Y2K contingency plans

Since federal computer systems will not be 100 percent Y2K-ready by today's governmentwide deadline, the Senate's special Y2K committee is planning a review of contingency plans and testing efforts next month.

About 90 percent of federal mission-critical computer systems will be Y2K-compliant, but the remaining 10 percent may prove the most troublesome. These include systems run by contractors or states to administer food stamps and Medicare payments, Defense Department systems and Federal Aviation Administration computers.

Sens. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who head the committee, plan to question White House Y2K czar John Koskinen and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew on the government's plans for becoming fully ready for Y2K.

OMB's most recent report showed that only five federal agencies or departments are 100 percent Y2K-ready. The remaining have completed partial repairs, but the crucial testing phase remains.

Bennett and Dodd have said final end-to-end testing, which demonstrates how interconnected computer systems work together, is one of the most important aspects of Y2K readiness. The March 31 deadline was set to give the government enough time to test and make last-minute repairs before the 2000 date change.

Bennett repeatedly has said that a 90 percent compliance rate is not compliant because every aspect of mission critical computer systems must be ready for them to work.

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