The Agony of Victory

The Agony of Victory

Bob Jauch

By Steve LeSueur

State technology officers are in a no-win situation when it comes to fixing year 2000 problems, according to Wisconsin state senator and Democrat Bob Jauch.

"You will either be condemned for doing too little, too late, or you will be criticized for spending so much for so long on a problem that didn't occur," he told state information technology officers at an Oct. 25 meeting of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives in Indianapolis.

During the discussion, dubbed "The Last Y2K Session," state IT officials generally agreed that most critical state systems are compliant, and that those remaining will be fixed by Jan. 1, 2000.

The chief task now is to convince citizens that a major catastrophe likely will not occur and help them prepare for any problems that arise.

"Y2K is no longer a technical problem. It's a political problem and a [public relations] problem," said Michael Jacob, chief consultant for the California State Assembly Information Technology Committee.

In some respects, New Year's Day will be like every other day, said Steven Henderson, deputy administrator for Nebraska's Department of Administrative Services. He noted that technology officials always are preparing for and dealing with interruptions, breakdowns and computer crashes.

Said Henderson: "Isn't every day like the infamous Day One for those of us with operational responsibilities for information technologies?"

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