Reported Y2K Status of the 21 Largest U.S. Cities

AIMD-99-246R: Published: Jul 15, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO identified the reported year 2000 status of the nation's 21 largest cities.

GAO noted that: (1) GAO's survey of major cities identified significant variances in reported year 2000 readiness; (2) 2 cities reported that they had completed their year 2000 efforts; (3) 9 cities expected to complete their year 2000 preparations by September 30,1999, and the remaining 10 cities expected to complete their preparations by December 31, 1999; (4) completing year 2000 activities in the last months of the year increases the risk that key services will not be year 2000 ready in time for 2000, because there will not be enough time to deal with unanticipated complications; (5) on average, cities reported completing work for 45 percent of the key service areas in which they had some responsibility; (6) they also stated that work is well underway on the remaining services; (7) cities were most likely to have reported completing work in their transportation systems and telecommunications equipment; (8) relatively few, however, reported completing their portions of water and wastewater treatment systems, public building systems, and emergency service systems; (9) given the amount of year 2000 work remaining to be done in the last months of the year, contingency plans are critical to ensure that cities will continue to provide key services through the year 2000 date change; (10) 7 large cities reported completing year 2000 contingency plans, while 14 cities reported that their plans are still being developed; (11) further, 20 of the 21 largest cities recognized the value of testing their contingency plans: 5 cities stated that they had completed this exercise; 7 cities reported that such testing was underway; and 8 reported that they planned to test their contingency plans; and (12) only one city stated that it would not test contingency plans.

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