Year 2000 Computing Crisis:

Status of Bureau of Prisons' Year 2000 Efforts

AIMD-99-23: Published: Jan 27, 1999. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1999.


Jack L. Brock, Jr
(202) 512-4841


Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed how well the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is managing its year 2000 program, focusing on: (1) the status of the BOP's year 2000 program; and (2) recent actions it has taken to strengthen its management of the program and improve year 2000 assistance to state and local government institutions.

GAO noted that: (1) BOP has assessed, tested, and implemented its only mission-critical information technology (IT) system and reports that it is year 2000 compliant; (2) in addition, BOP reports that it has assessed, renovated/replaced, and implemented 94 percent of its 2,021 mission-critical non-IT systems; (3) for those that are not yet implemented, BOP plans to do so by March 1999; (4) during the course of GAO's review, BOP has acted to strengthen its year 2000 program management, including: (a) defining its year 2000 program structure and developing a year 2000 conversion plan; (b) expanding its year 2000 program scope to include its 250 contract facilities; (c) tracking the status of workstation testing and non-IT assessments; (d) hiring a contractor to validate the vendors' year 2000 compliance certifications for non-IT systems; and (e) directing all offices, including contract facilities, and institutions to review, revise as necessary, and test their emergency preparedness plans for consideration of the threat of external infrastructure and internal system failures; (5) however, BOP's outreach efforts to the state and local corrections community have not been proactive; (6) during the course of GAO's review, BOP updated the BOP and National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Internet sites to provide links to government and private sector year 2000 sites and identify BOP and NIC points of contact; and (7) however, this requires that state and local corrections officials come to BOP to obtain the information.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: To promote awareness and provide assistance to the state and local corrections community, the Director, Bureau of Prisons, should direct the year 2000 Program Manager to proactively identify organizations needing assistance and share BOP experiences and lessons learned. This could be done through established networks, such as the National Sheriff's Association and the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice: Bureau of Prisons

    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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