Year 2000 Computing Crisis:

Readiness of the Electric Power Industry

AIMD-99-114: Published: Apr 6, 1999. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1999.

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Joel C. Willemssen
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the electric power industry's vulnerability to year 2000 problems and the reported status of the industry's year 2000 readiness.

GAO noted that: (1) all phases of operations in the electric power industry--from generation to distribution--use control systems and equipment that are subject to year 2000 failures; (2) while the electric power industry has reported that it has made substantial progress in making its equipment and systems ready to continue operations into the year 2000, significant risks remain; (3) in response to a November 1998 industry-wide survey, the nation's electric power utilities reported that, on average, they were 44 percent complete with remediation and testing; and (4) however, almost half of the reporting organizations said that they did not expect to be year 2000 ready within the June 1999 industry target date, and about one sixth of the respondents indicated they would not be ready until the last 3 months of 1999--leaving little time margin for resolving unexpected problems.

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