Final year 2000 regulation is due out Aug. 1

General Services Administration officials are fine-tuning the final version of a year
2000 procurement regulation defining interoperability requirements for the government's
systems.


The Federal Acquisition Regulation Council crafted an interim rule requiring agencies
to certify that any commercial products they buy can handle date and time processing tasks
after Dec. 31, 1999.


The interim rule also mandated that agencies specify in procurement documents that
vendors supply the software and hardware upgrades needed to keep systems running after
1999.


But several industry groups, including the Information Technology Association of
America, the Professional Services Council, the Electronic Industries Association and the
Computing Technology Industry Association, complained that the interim rule's language
failed to clarify the government's interoperability responsibilities.


GSA officials said they have recast the rule's wording and will have the final FAR
language ready no later than Friday.


"This will define compliance. It will be the final regulatory language," said
Cynthia Warner, who manages the year 2000 support team in GSA's Office of Governmentwide
Policy.


The Chief Information Officers Council and the Year 2000 Interagency Committee are
relying on the FAR language to help agencies dispose of antiquated software code and
revamp systems to handle the date change.


More information about the FAR language and the year 2000 problem is available on GSA's
World Wide Web site at http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov.


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