Thompson Announces Hearings on Possible Year 2000 Computer Crash

Washington, DC–Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) said his committee will hold a hearing Wednesday, April 1, at 10 am. in Room 342 of the Dirksen Senate Building on “Crashing Into the Millennium–Year 2000 Conversion Efforts.”

“At the turn of the century,” Thompson said, “many computer systems will interpret the ’00’ in the year as 1900, instead of 2000. Many experts believe it is an international disaster waiting to happen. Yet, in this case we know exactly when the disaster will strike and what must be done to prevent it.

“Within the federal government, the problem is not a technical challenge, but a challenge of management. And in this case, the deadline is not negotiable. In 1997 we held hearings to address the areas of government which presented the highest risks. The Year 2000 problem was one of the two most serious problems presenting the greatest risk for all agencies.

“Now there are fewer than 450 federal workdays remaining to complete the computer conversion, and I have reached the troubling conclusion that many agencies will not be able to fix their systems in time and will face major disruptions. However, this is not just a government problem. The Governmental Affairs Committee wants to know what agencies are doing to ensure that all of our citizens are aware of the serious nature of this problem–not to create panic, but to raise their understanding of the issue and make plans to minimize their personal risks.”

The confirmed witness list includes:

o John Koskinen Assistant to the President, Chair, President’s Council on the Year 2000 Conversion

o Kevin Thurm Deputy Secretary ,Health and Human Services Department

o Mortimer Downey Deputy Secretary,Transportation Department