Y2K center director laments what might have been

Y2K center director laments what might have been

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

JUNE 20'The government missed an opportunity when it decided to close the year 2000 Information Coordination Center, its director said.

The center was a place where people worked together across agencies, levels of government and public and private sector lines, said Ret. Lt. Gen. Peter A. Kind, director of ICC, in his first public comments since the center was closed last month.

Kind would not comment in detail about the dismantling of the center, other than to say that the government missed a 'golden opportunity' to mirror the year 2000 working experience in other efforts, such as critical infrastructure protection.

The Office of Management and Budget decided that the $50 million center should not kept open for other uses, such as cybersecurity issues.

Sally Katzen, counselor to the OMB director, has defended the move, saying the administration originally conceived of ICC for the year 2000 effort alone [see story at www.gcn.com/vol19_no12/news/2059-1.html].

The ICC was a central point for gathering, analyzing and summarizing information on systems operations during the year 2000 date change [see story at www.gcn.com/vol18_no28/news/532-1.html]. The center has been widely praised in both the public and private sectors as a place of cooperation between government and industry.

Three contractors who worked on the ICC offered to pay the operating expenses for the continuation of the center. But OMB decided to close the center and distribute most of the equipment to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Kind said he was pleased with the ICC, which was built from scratch on time and under budget, and which met performance expectations. He made his comments at the GovTech 2000 conference in Washington.

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