US vice president Al Gore has warned federal agencies lagging in their Year 2000 preparations that fixing the millennium bug must be their number one management concern, as a new report shows the total government cost has risen to almost $5.4 billion.
An Office of Management and Budget report scheduled for release today is expected to show that the State Department has become the latest addition to a list of agencies facing exceptional problems readying their computer systems for the century date change. The department became the seventh agency to be named on the list because it is believed to have made little progress in the last three months.
Gore, who is expected to be campaigning for the US presidency in 2000, met yesterday with officials from the seven agencies, and told them they must report back to him by mid-October with details of their progress.
Apart from the State Department, the less-than magnificent seven are the departments of Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, and the Agency for International Development.
US banks were also told to take a tougher look at the Year 2000 problem yesterday, when Donna Tanoue, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, warned it will take action against banks with significant problems.
Addressing the National Bankers Association in Philadelphia, she told delegates that the corporation will make a round of on-site assessments at every bank in the US.
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