Year 2000 Computing Challenge:

Federal Efforts to Ensure Continued Delivery of Key State-Administered Benefits

T-AIMD-99-241: Published: Jul 15, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the year 2000 challenge facing state and local governments, focusing on: (1) the year 2000 readiness of 10 key state-administered federal human services programs; (2) federal activities to assess states' readiness for these 10 programs; and (3) the status of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Payment Management System.

GAO noted that: (1) much work remains at the state level to ensure that major services are not disrupted; (2) at particular risk are several states that do not plan to have their systems that support state-administered federal human services programs year 2000 compliant until the last quarter of this year; (3) federal agencies are working with their state partners to obtain readiness information and evaluate and provide assistance in key activities such as business continuity and contingency planning; (4) nevertheless, some state completion dates are so close to the turn of the century that the risk of disruption to their programs is substantially increased, especially if schedule delays or unexpected problems arise; (5) further, data exchanges for the HHS payment system, critical to making federal payments to states, have not yet been tested; and (6) with less than 6 months to go until the turn of the century, testing of these data exchanges and other essential federal/state exchanges must be completed expeditiously.

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