[IWAR] Y2K bug could bite U.S. Navy

From: William Knowles (erehwonat_private)
Date: Thu Jul 02 1998 - 21:38:56 PDT


    [Reuters] (7.2.98) WASHINGTON--U.S. Navy operations worldwide 
    could be severely disrupted by any failure to fix the Year 2000 
    computer bug in critical systems, the audit and investigations 
    arm of Congress said.
    "Failure to address the Year 2000 problem in time could 
    severely degrade or disrupt the Navy's day-to-day and, more 
    importantly, mission-critical operations," the nonpartisan 
    General Accounting Office said.
    The Year 2000 glitch, sometimes called the millennium bug, 
    refers to the problem of older computers being unable to 
    recognize the new century.
    These older systems record dates using only the last two digits 
    of the year and unless they are corrected, they could confuse 
    the year 2000 with the year 1900, creating errors or system 
    For the Navy, at issue are potential incorrect data processing,
    corrupted databases, or massive system failures that could 
    scramble supply shipments, inventory forecasts, budget estimates 
    and personnel-related information, the GAO said.
    It said the Year 2000 glitch could disrupt everything from 
    combat capabilities to communications, intelligence gathering, 
    surveillance, fleet mobilization, and readiness.
    In a report requested by lawmakers, the GAO said the Navy was 
    behind schedule in fixing the problem.
    "Time is running out to correct Navy systems that could 
    malfunction or produce incorrect information when the year 
    2000 is encountered during automated data processing," 
    it said.
    "The impact of these failures could be widespread, costly, 
    and potentially debilitating to important Navy operations 
    worldwide," Jack Brock, head of the GAO office that monitors 
    defense information systems, said in the report addressed to 
    Navy Secretary John Dalton.
    In a reply included with the report, the Navy agreed to a 
    GAO recommendation that it establish a complete and accurate 
    inventory of information systems and develop written agreements 
    with "interface partners."
    The Navy also agreed to plan for the continuity of all its 
    critical military operations and business processes rather 
    than only a small part of "mission-critical" systems.
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