Cost of Y2K fix for government rises to $8 billion : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

6/15/99 -- 10:28 PM

Cost of Y2K fix for government rises to $8 billion


WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government raised to at least $8.06 billion its estimate Tuesday of how much it expects to spend fixing the Year 2000 computer problem, $1.3 billion more than it predicted just three months ago.

The White House Office of Management Budget, in a report released Tuesday night, said the increase was due mostly to the Defense Department's use of $1.05 billion in emergency funds set aside by Congress to fix the most important computers.

The cost estimate includes money spent on the problem by federal agencies since fiscal 1996, when some of the earliest repair work started.

The OMB's latest quarterly report on the Y2K problem said 93 percent of the government's 6,190 most important computers have been repaired, replaced or never were vulnerable, up from 79 percent in February.

Of the 410 computer systems government-wide that aren't ready, most are being repaired, it said. Thirty-five computer systems are being replaced and 24 are being scrapped, it added.

Fourteen federal agencies said all of their most important computers were prepared. Ten other agencies - including the departments of agriculture, commerce, energy and justice - still have unfinished work. Among the systems still not ready is part of the FBI's automated fingerprint system, the report said, but the Justice Department said it should be fixed by next month.

The government had earlier set a March 31 deadline for all agencies to have their most important systems repaired.

The OMB also said the Clinton administration's top Y2K experts rejected a proposal to move the federal holiday from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3 to give companies and agencies another day to resolve any problems before workers return during the first work week of 2000.

``Moving the holiday would be unwise, since it would require extensive reprogramming of systems to account for the change that would only add to the burden of Year 2000 work,'' the report said.

Many computers originally programmed to recognize only the last two digits of a year will not work properly beginning Jan. 1, 2000, when those machines will assume it is 1900.

Most computers can be reprogrammed, but many devices have embedded microchips that must be physically replaced.

The latest report said agencies are making ``good progress'' on replacing the affected embedded chips and predicted that part of the Y2K problem, at least, ``will not have a significant effect on the delivery of their programs.''

``Those few agencies (such as the Defense Department and NASA) that use specialized, mission-critical equipment that relies on embedded chips are working hard to find and fix any problems,'' the report said.


Don't we ALL feel better now!!!.


-- Ray (, June 15, 1999


(1) A little here, a little there. Nah, it won't even add up to big money! A tax increase'd never be noticed...

(2) Project creep and project slippage continues. Sorry, folks, but it's exactly what so many have been saying.

-- Mad Monk (, June 16, 1999.

$1.3 billion more than it predicted just three months ago.

Doesn't three months ago seem just like yesterday. I wonder how much this estimate will be in three months?

-- y2k dave (, June 16, 1999.

how much have they spent so far?

-- dick of the dale (, June 16, 1999.

Where to stick this article ... hhmmm ... and another one to follow. AP Breaking News, where the URLs go dead too fast to post ...

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

6/16/99 -- 3:19 AM

Y2K Lawsuits
The amount of contributions senators received from the computer industry and trial lawyers in the last election and how they voted Tuesday on legislation to curb Y2K-related lawsuits.

The table lists the senator's vote Tuesday, contributions from the computer industry, and contributions from trial lawyers, according to an AP analysis of Federal Election Commission records gathered by the Campaign Study Group, a non-partisan business that collects data on political donations.
A yes vote was a vote in favor of curbing Y2K-related lawsuits.

Sessions (R) Yes, $7,000 from the computer industry, $6,950 from trial lawyers. ^Alabama
Shelby (R) No, $20,000, $90,699. ^Alaska
Murkowski (R) Yes, $3,000, $21,650.
Stevens (R) Yes, $1,000, $5,750. ^Arizona
Kyl (R) Yes, $1,000, $14,500.
McCain (R) Yes, $36,200, $95,723. ^Arkansas
Hutchinson (R) Yes, $0, $1,250.
Lincoln (D) Yes, $10,150, $42,605. ^California
Boxer (D) No, $42,680, $347,773.
Feinstein (D) Yes, $0, $10,500. ^Colorado
Allard (R) Yes, $0, $0.
Campbell (R) Yes, $12,500, $23,975. ^Connecticut
Dodd (D) Yes, $32,000, $147,350.
Lieberman (D) Yes, $5,250, $5,000. ^Delaware
Biden (D) No, $0, $16,000.
Roth (R) Yes, $1,000, $4,000. ^Florida
Graham (D) No, $5,050, $168,741.
Mack (R) Yes, $2,000, $27,566. ^Georgia
Cleland (D) No, $3,250, $15,650.
Coverdell (R) Yes, $15,100, $80,905 ^Hawaii
Akaka (D) No, $0, $0.
Inouye (D) No, $3,500, $33,750. ^Idaho
Craig (R) Yes, $1,000, $7,050.
Crapo (R) Yes, $11,250, $19,935. ^Illinois
Durbin (D) No, $0, $16,038.
Fitzgerald (R) Yes, $4,450, $30,750. ^Indiana
Bayh (D) No, $6,500, $120,315.
Lugar (R) Yes, $1,000, $31,650. ^Iowa
Grassley (R) Yes, $6,500, $30,325.
Harkin (D) No, $0, $2,250. ^Kansas
Brownback (R) Yes, $6,500, $11,629.
Roberts (R) Yes, $0, $0. ^Kentucky
Bunning (R) Yes, $3,700, $60,913.
McConnell (R) Yes, $3,000, $3,500. ^Louisiana
Breaux (D) No, $9,000, $170,663.
Landrieu (D) No, $1,000, $92,950. ^Maine
Collins (R) Yes, $0, $700.
Snowe (R) Yes, $0, $3,050. ^Maryland
Mikulski (D) No, $19,750, $21,908.
Sarbanes (D) No, $0, $4,000. ^Massachusetts
Kennedy (D) No, $5,000, $88,234.
Kerry (D) No, $10,000, $169,694. ^Michigan
Abraham (R) Yes, $49,600, $21,700.
Levin (D) No, $0, $0. ^Minnesota
Grams (R) Yes, $0, $5,500.
Wellstone (D) No, $0, $0. ^Mississippi
Cochran (R) No, $0, $0.
Lott (R) Yes, $3,500, $3,250. ^Missouri
Ashcroft (R) Yes, $4,000, $21,750.
Bond (R) Yes, $26,500, $103,089. ^Montana
Baucus (D) Yes, $3,000, $2,000.
Burns (R) Yes, $20,499, $6,000. ^Nebraska
Hagel (R) Yes, $11,500, $14,550.
Kerrey (D) No, $14,500, $45,250. ^Nevada
Bryan (D) Yes, $0, $4,000.
Reid (D) No, $9,000, $223,097. ^New Hampshire
Gregg (R) Yes, $12,000, $20,300.
Smith (R) Yes, $0, $0. ^New Jersey
Lautenberg (D) No, $2,000, $83,500.
Torricelli (D) No, $1,000, $32,500. ^New Mexico
Bingaman (D) Yes, $0, $13,495.
Domenici (R) Yes, $0, $0. ^New York
Moynihan (D) Yes, $1,250, $17,900.
Schumer (D) No, $6,700, $291,653. ^North Carolina
Edwards (D) No, $3,450, $429,672.
Helms (R) Yes, $0, $2,550. ^North Dakota
Conrad (D) No, $0, $4,250.
Dorgan (D) No, $9,000, $38,653. ^Ohio
DeWine (R) Yes, $7,612, $49,450.
Voinovich (R) Yes, $15,750, $121,988. ^Oklahoma
Inhofe (R) Yes, $1,000, $0.
Nickles (R) Yes, $8,500, $31,800. ^Oregon
Smith (R) Yes, $4,000, $3,062.
Wyden (D) Yes, $40,000, $71,500. ^Pennsylvania
Santorum (R) Yes, $1,600, $80,033.
Specter (R) No, $9,000, $230,536. ^Rhode Island
Chafee (R) Not Voting, $0, $300.
Reed (D) No, $10,650, $10,575. ^South Carolina
Hollings (D) No, $13,500, $306,284.
Thurmond (R) Yes, $0, $0. ^South Dakota
Daschle (D) No, $46,500, $147,400.
Johnson (D) No, $2,000, $21,514. ^Tennessee
Frist (R) Yes, $3,500, $49,750.
Thompson (R) No, $1,000, $2,500. ^Texas
Gramm (R) Yes, $4,000, $15,000.
Hutchison (R) Yes. $21,250, $74,190. ^Utah
Bennett (R) Yes, $14,000, $41,650.
Hatch (R) Yes, $27,000, $37,250. ^Vermont
Jeffords (R) Yes, $0, $2,750.
Leahy (D) No, $25,780, $47,154. ^Virginia
Robb (D) Yes, $8,000, $1,000.
Warner (R) Yes, $7,750, $5,750. ^Washington
Gorton (R) Yes, $14,000, $3,250.
Murray (D) Yes, $44,571, $86,949. ^West Virginia
Byrd (D) Yes, $0, $0.
Rockefeller (D) No, $0, $3,800. ^Wisconsin
Feingold (D) No, $2,000, $79,600.
Kohl (D) No, $0, $0. ^Wyoming
Enzi (R) Yes, $0, $0.
Thomas (R) Yes, $0, $500.


Is this a "follow-the-money" vote?

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 16, 1999.

[ For Educational Use Only ]

6/16/99 -- 2:25 AM

Supporters of Y2K bill confront White House veto threat

WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of legislation to curb Y2K-related lawsuits, encouraged by a strong Senate vote, say the U.S. economy is at stake and that the White House should reconsider its veto threat.

``I hope that the president would not veto'' the bill, said Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., who joined 11 other Democrats and 50 Republicans Tuesday in the 62-37 vote to pass the bill. ``I can't tell you the depth of passion that the high tech industry feels about this bill.''

The legislation, passed in a different version by the House and now heading for a House-Senate conference, has been avidly backed by the high tech and business community, which say it can help prevent billions of dollars in lawsuits arising from computers that could produce a variety of problems by misreading the year 2000 as 1900.

But the administration, backed by consumer groups and trial lawyers, has threatened a veto, saying the bill undercuts legal rights to seek damages and would discourage companies from fixing computers.

Tuesday's vote was five short of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto, but Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, the chief sponsor, said he would work to prevent that veto.

``We are now at the moment of truth in this struggle between those who would restrain the engine of our economic growth and those who would protect it,'' he said.

``All the momentum has shifted in our direction. The president is going to have to cooperate,'' said National Association of Manufacturers president Jerry Jasinowski.

``It's a simple choice. It's time for the White House to do the right thing,'' said U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas J. Donohue.

But it won't be simple for the White House to choose between the arguments of the high tech industry, which has been a strong financial supporter of both President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, and the trial lawyers and consumer groups, also political allies, who strongly oppose the legislation.

Joan Claybrook, president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said the bill was a ``disincentive for the industry to behave.'' She said the bill might ``boomerang'' on senators who supported it if the new millennium dawns with major disruptions because businesses unconcerned about getting sued don't fix computers.

Supporters insisted that won't happen and that wrongdoers will still be held liable. The bill does provide a 90-day cooling off period to allow businesses to fix computers before they can be sued and encourages mediation.

It discourages the practice of looking for deep-pocketed companies to sue by stating that in most cases a company would be held liable for only that portion of damages it causes, limits class action lawsuits and sets punitive damage caps for small companies.

``Without the Y2K act, we run the risk of starting a gold rush for prospecting lawyers in search of Y2K gold,'' said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who worked with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to make the legislation more consumer-friendly and acceptable to the administration.

The final product, while still unacceptable to the White House, was generally more moderate than a version passed by the House last month in a more partisan vote.

Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., a chief sponsor of that bill, said they were ready to start negotiations immediately with the Senate and said the strong Senate vote would be a factor in coming up with a compromise. But he added that ``we're not going to let the trial lawyers right the bill.''

The House bill offers punitive damage caps to all defendants who make a good faith effort to correct problems, extends proportionate liability to more defendants and includes a loser-pay provision.
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 16, 1999.

Add all this being spent to "fix" the glitches to the problem is manageable to the "grades" posted yesterday ad nauseum. Doesn't it make you wonder WHY? they are trying to tell us there is no need to panic? WHY? there was so much pressure to pass that law to provide law suit relief? (If all is okay, why do we need this?) WHY? the contingency plans (they cost money too!) and are the costs for the contingency plans included in the $8+ mil cost? And last of all - what ditz came up with the change the holiday/add another day thing? Isn't it really scary when people in responsible positions of leadership can come up with something like that? At least someone was bright enough to veto that.

Am really beginning to be more afraid of the government than what may happen come rollover! Geeeez!

-- Valkyrie (, June 16, 1999.

Interesting. Computer Lobby spent $800K and Trial Lawyers & Consumer Groups outspent 'em about 6-to-1 (almost $5M) and still lost!

Here are the Senators who received the most money from the losing side:


North Carolina -- Edwards -- (D) -- No -- $3,450 -- $429,672

California -- Boxer -- (D) -- No -- $42,680 -- $347,773

South Carolina -- Hollings -- (D) -- No -- $13,500 -- $306,284

New York -- Schumer -- (D) -- No -- $6,700 -- $291,653

Pennsylvania -- Specter -- (R) -- No -- $9,000 -- $230,536

Nevada -- Reid -- (D) -- No -- $9,000 -- $223,097

Louisiana -- Breaux -- (D) -- No -- $9,000 -- $170,663

Massachusetts -- Kerry -- (D) -- No -- $10,000 -- $169,694

Florida -- Graham -- (D) -- No -- $5,050 -- $168,741

South Dakota -- Daschle -- (D) -- No -- $46,500 -- $147,400

Connecticut -- Dodd -- (D) -- Yes -- $32,000 -- $147,350

Ohio -- Voinovich -- (R) -- Yes -- $15,750 -- $121,988

Indiana -- Bayh -- (D) -- No -- $6,500 -- $120,315

Missouri -- Bond -- (R) -- Yes -- $26,500 -- $103,089

Arizona -- McCain -- (R) -- Yes -- $36,200 -- $95,723

That top six really blew my mind. Each got over $200K, and the top three got over $300K each. Yikes!

If I were the Trial Lawyers, I'd certainly want my money back from Dodd, Voinovich, Bond, and McCain; of course, that last $95K was desperate by the lobbyists, since McCain sponsored the bill...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 16, 1999.

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