Year 2000 Computing Crisis:

Progress Made at Department of Labor, But Key Systems at Risk

T-AIMD-98-303: Published: Sep 17, 1998. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1998.

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Joel C. Willemssen
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the significant information technology challenges that the upcoming century change poses to the Department of Labor, and to several of its agencies, focusing on: (1) specific year 2000 issues facing two elements of Labor's Employment and Training Administration; (2) the year 2000 efforts of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs and of the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and (3) observations on the year 2000 readiness of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

GAO noted that: (1) Labor and its agencies have made progress, but are still at risk in several areas; (2) these areas include making benefits payments to laid-off workers, collecting labor statistics, and ensuring accurate accounting for pension benefits; (3) several of the systems supporting these business areas are at risk; some could fail as early as January 1999 because they involve calculations a year into the future; and (4) accordingly, it is critical that appropriate contingency plans be developed to ensure business continuity in the event of systems failures.

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