GAO: Agencies fail to account for Y2K funds

Nine agencies did not keep track of year 2000 expenditures, according to a GAO report
released last week. Five agencies only estimated expenditures, and three agencies—the
departments of Agriculture, State and Treasury—refused to respond to GAO inquiries.


“GAO discovered that some funds were spent on non-Y2K activities,” according
to the Office of the House Majority Leader, Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas).


Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman Linda Ricci called the notion“pure
fiction,” noting that agencies must report year 2000 expenses to OMB quarterly. GAO
said it found that seven of the 24 major agencies track annual date code expenditures.


The report, Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Costs and Planned Use of Emergency Funds, comes
as Congress is working on supplemental spending bills.


A Senate version of one bill, S 544, would cut the $2.25 billion year 2000 emergency
fund for civilian agencies by $972 million. Just last month, administration officials
pleaded with lawmakers not to cut those funds, saying they are critical to year 2000
progress [GCN, April 26, Page 62].


OMB does not allocate the funds without justification from the agencies about how the
money will be spent, Ricci said. “It would be a mistake to cut back on emergency
funding when we are close [to finishing fixes] and when we are less than 300 days away
from 2000,’’ she said.  


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