NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Governments Not Prepared For Y2K

June 24, 1999

The private sector will cause far fewer Y2K problems come Jan. 1, 2000, than will the public sector. That is the conclusion of Joel Willemssen of the General Accounting Office.

He has reported that virtually all industry areas are highly aware of the potential consequences of the Year 2000 computer problem and that a working group "is increasingly confident there will not be large-scale disruptions in the banking, power and telecommunications area."

Not so among governments:

  • At the federal level, 11 agencies have not met their deadline for mission-critical systems and some agencies are at high risk they will not fix their systems in time.
  • Among the states, one state is between 1 percent and 24 percent ready; 13 have completed between 25 percent and 49 percent of their tasks; 17 states are between 50 percent and 74 percent ready; and 17 states reported completing more than 75 percent of their preparations.
  • A survey of 220 cities by the National Conference of Mayors revealed that 22 percent had repaired or replaced less than 50 percent of their systems, and 45 percent had completed less than half their testing.

Source: Editorial, "Why Worry About Y2K," Investor's Business Daily, June 24, 1999.


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