The US government will next week confess that it grossly underestimated the cost of converting essential public sector computer systems to make them Year 2000-compliant, as the total bill heads towards the $4 billion mark.
Earlier this year, the US authorities published a report through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) claiming that the Year 2000 fix could be achieved on the cheap for around $2.3 billion. But next week the OMB will produce a second report, which marks that total up to $3.79 billion so far.
According to the report, the reason for the rise is a tripling of the estimated cost submitted by the US Treasury. Only four of the 24 US Federal Agencies have lowered their estimates - the Interior Department, NASA, the Energy Department and the Housing Department.
Other vital departments, such as Social Security, Defence and Transport, have all bumped up their planned spending.
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), which represents suppliers, has consistently criticised the government and the OMB for underestimating the scale of the problem and predicts that the total cost could be as high as $30 billion.
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