The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has put a price tag on achieving Year 2000 compliance for its computer systems of $129 million and rising.
The figure emerged during evidence submitted to the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS in Washington by Arthur Gross, assistant IRS commissioner in charge of technology. IRS computers process 200 million tax returns a year and collect $1.4 trillion of revenue.
The conversion figure to date relates to the core IRS systems, but does not include final figures for the cost of converting state-level systems that have to communicate with the central computers. "We may seek additional appropriations for 1998," admitted Gross.
He told the Commission that he was confident that the IRS systems would be reprogrammed in time for the 31 December 1999 deadline, but admitted that the Service would not have a complete idea of how many lines of code needed converting until the end of May.
"This is absolutely the highest priority for the IRS," he said. "My view of the challenge is that we are running a marathon race at a sprinters speed."
The IRS had been excluded from an earlier inquiry into the state of federal computer systems compliance projects because the Commission was due to meet this week. The earlier inquiry warned that ignorance and underbudgeting meant that most federal computers would not be ready to meet the Millennium deadline and predicted electronic chaos in the US pubic sector. (see story last week).
The IRS IT strategy has been the centre of considerable political controversy in Washington following revelations last year that a $4 billion, 10-year upgrade programme had achieved none of its objectives so far. The Treasury is now considering proposals to outsource many of the central operations.
Climate change likely forced inhabitants of Indus Valley civilisation to resettle in the Himalayan foothills
Shift in weather patterns made agriculture almost impossible in the Indus Valley region
Researchers claim that the magnetic properties of a thin-film material can be controlled by applying a small voltage
Dubbed Antlia 2, the ghost galaxy sits just 130,000 light-years away from the Milky Way
Delays to the roll-out of age verification for adult websites hasn't stopped government from considering extending them to more websites