Many Y2K Programs Lack Local Government Contact

A new study from Cutter Consortium shows that one-quarter of respondent organizations have not bothered talking with their local government about year 2000 issues. But the vast majority of companies -- 91% -- claim to have a "proactive year 2000 communications program."

Ed Yourdon, Chairman of the Cutter Consortium, comments, "A proactive Year 2000 communications program must include contact with local governments. Many services, with the exception of electricity, are controlled or regulated by the town or county government. Of course, it’s as difficult to get credible information from local government about water, sewage and 911 emergency services as it is from any other supply-chain vendor -- but that’s hardly an excuse for failing to make appropriate contact."

"So what do these companies mean by a ‘proactive year 2000 communications program’? It may mean nothing more than the fact that the organization has a year 2000 page on its Web site, indicating that it fully intends to be Year 2000-compliant by the end of the year." Yourdon concludes, "Perhaps the idea has simply not occurred to some organizations, or maybe they haven’t had such contact in the past. A more cynical explanation might be that organizations have little faith in the competence or honesty of their local government authorities, or perhaps they simply feel that they are independent of the activities and decisions of their local government. This attitude is misguided to say the least. Contacting their local governments concerning Year 2000 should be an integral part of any Year 2000 action plan."

The Cutter study consists of responses from 96 organizations, with an average IT budget of $38.2 million, and an average IT staff of 816 people. Approximately 86% of respondents were senior managers, IT managers, Year 2000 project managers, or quality assurance managers.

For more information, visit the Cutter Web site at www.cutter.com/consortium/.