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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 1999

Governor Tells Agencies To 'Get Ready' With 99 Days To Go

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today released the latest monthly Y2K status report from state agencies which shows that overall State government is 94 percent complete by function in its preparations for the Year 2000.

"Although our overall percentages look positive, with only three months to go there are still some areas that need further work," said Ryan. "This is not an issue where we can negotiate the deadline. On New Year's Eve, we will have enough things to worry about like millennium celebrations and the weather in Illinois.

"We will be prepared for the unexpected, and I am telling all state agencies to finalize those areas where they know there are potential problems." Ryan reported on agency progress at a Sep. 22 meeting of his Year 2000 Preparedness Council. The Council is helping lead the state's Y2K efforts and works with the Illinois Technology Office in the Ryan administration.

Governor Ryan has asked all agencies to complete the work for Y2K as soon as possible, but continue testing and planning until Dec. 31. "The citizens of Illinois expect the agencies to be ready on Jan. 1," said Ryan," and so do I."

Mary Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer for Governor Ryan explained: "We have a challenging definition of 'Y2K Ready' because we require that all of those components that support a function of government - computer systems, data interchanges, embedded systems, and suppliers - must all be ready on or before the latest monthly report. This means that we are looking at the total function of government being operational, not just a computer system."

Reynolds said, "Several agencies are reporting that they are 100 percent complete in their preparations while other agencies are reporting that numerous functions are ready. Although some agencies are very close to finalizing remediation and replacement efforts, numerous functions of government are still not defined as ready with less than 100 days to go before January 1."

State agencies have been preparing contingency plans. Those draft plans will now be reviewed across agencies to look for areas not fully covered and those where there may be duplication. "We need to make sure that our resources are maximized for the beginning of the Year 2000," said Reynolds. "Contingency plans provide a blueprint of what to do in the event of the 'what if' scenarios. This exercise is something that can be used for a computer crash or electric outage any time of any year as well as other natural disasters such as ice storms or tornadoes."

Plans are being finalized to establish agency and executive office procedures for the rollover period. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will be operating the Emergency Operations Center beginning on December 31. The Center will serve as the state information coordinating location for county reports, as well as immediate updates from utilities and other service providers throughout Illinois. Periodic updates will be given from December 31 through the first work day of the New Year on January 3.

Copies of the monthly report are on the state Y2K webpage at: www.state.il.us/y2k.


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