Local News

North Carolina Readies to Battle Year 2000 Bug

Posted August 3, 1998

— There are just over 500 days until the year 2000. The date change could cause havoc with computer systems. North Carolina state government will get outside help to make sure the state's computer systems pass year 2000 tests.

And as WRAL OnLine reporter Tom Lawrence explains, the state is moving quickly to fix the problem: computers, large and small, that may not be able to read the date change to 2000. The problem could cause major problems with everything from mail processing to registering for school.

The state'sInformation Resource Management Commissionmonitors progress of fixing hundreds of state-operated computer systems.

"A big part of that is testing. After that, remediation has been done to insure that these programs are Year 2000 compliant," says state auditor Ralph Campbell.

Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker signed the agreement with theDepartment of Commerce, allowing the State Auditor's office to hire an outside contractor to oversee the work.

Rick Webb with the Department of Commerce says about a third of the state's affected computer systems have been upgraded. However, there's more to be done.

"We do have some agencies that are on slippage report, but those vary based on priority rather than by agency."

The state's Year 2000 Project website posts progress reports and shows higher priority applications are being fixed first.

The state has earmarked $132 million to make the state's systems compliant. Lt. Governor Wicker says there's no time to waste.

"The money has helped, that they appropriated this summer, to keep the time line in place. And we feel very good we're going to be able to meet these deadlines as time goes on."

The State Auditor's Office will put out bids for the independent contractor. Money has already been budgeted for the project.


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