Federal Y2K Compliance Not As Good As It Sounds

Ninety-two percent of the federal government's most critical systems are Y2K compliant, reported John A. Koskinen, President Clinton's advisor on Year 2000 computer issues, in his latest update last Thursday. In addition, he indicated that 13 of 24 major federal agencies had met the White House's Mar. 31 compliance deadline and that remaining agencies expected to have their Y2K fixes completed by the end of summer. But the news isn't as comforting as it sounds, says Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R, Utah), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. "Ninety percent compliant doesn't mean that everyone's lights will dim by 10%, that planes will fly 10% lower in the sky, or that water pressure will drop by 10%," he said in a statement following the Administration's report. "Instead, it means that if you rely on a certain government service, or live in a certain geographic area, or fly in a certain part of the world where there is noncompliance, there is a 100% chance of a Y2K failure." Bennett said he was concerned with the low compliance percentages of the departments of Transportation (53%), State (61%), Defense (72%), Labor (86%), and Health & Human Services (87%).

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