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Y2K Problem Still Bugs Many City Departments

City agencies are still struggling to upgrade computers to handle the year 2000 problem, with many departments giving themselves a C or D in grading their preparations, a city report said Wednesday.

The city Information Technology Agency gives the city’s overall preparations a B, but said some departments are lagging in efforts to make sure computers can properly read dates and function on Jan. 1, 2000.

“I believe our critical systems will be Y2K compliant and our major operations will be functioning,” said Frank Martinez, the agency’s assistant general manager. “But I believe there is the possibility of some disruptions here and there.”

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In a self-evaluation completed two months ago and released Wednesday, the Housing Department and city Employee Relations Board gave themselves a D grade for bringing computers into compliance.

Twenty-one agencies, including the LAPD, city treasurer, Fire Department and Information Technology Agency, gave themselves a C grade. The Information Technology Agency operates many of the city government’s computer systems.

Martinez told the council’s Information Technology and General Services Committee on Wednesday that departments have made progress, but it is critical that they get full funding to finish the computer upgrades by the end of this year.

Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, the committee’s chairman, was concerned by the report.

“Go up there and correct those folks who are getting Cs and Ds and tell them it’s just not acceptable,” Ridley-Thomas told Martinez.

Upgrades have not yet begun on 20 of the city’s 94 departmental systems, according to a separate report by City Controller Rick Tuttle.


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