IG: Defense buying systems from vendors not certified 2000-ready

Military services are buying major weapons systems from vendors not required to deliver
year 2000-ready products, the Defense Department inspector general reported last month.


The IG reviewed 16 DOD weapons systems and found that nine programs had contracts or
solicitations that did not include language about year 2000 readiness.


The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires agencies buying hardware and software to
ensure that contracts and solicitations demand that products be year 2000-ready.


“Without the required Y2K contract language, DOD has no assurance that the weapons
systems it is buying are Y2K-compliant,” said the report, Year 2000 Contract Language
for Weapons Systems.


“The purchase of noncompliant weapons systems may seriously hamper the ability of
DOD to perform its warfighting mission,” the report said.


Defense Secretary William Cohen in an August memo to the services and DOD agencies said
his office would not approve funds for any contract that did not contain year 2000
readiness clauses.


Cohen’s memo seems to be having an effect.


“In the report, the inspector general recognized that the actions taken by the
department, specifically the secretary of Defense’s memo in August, were responsive
to the shortcomings identified in the report,” DOD spokeswoman Susan Hansen said.


Among the DOD weapons systems taken to task by IG were the Marine Corps’ Advanced
Amphibious Assault Vehicle, the Air Force’s E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System,
the Army’s RAH-66 Comanche helicopter and Medium Extended Air Defense System, and
DOD’s National Missile Defense Program.   

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