GAO: Y2K practices benefit protection efforts

GAO: Y2K practices benefit protection efforts

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

Some practices adopted in the thick of year 2000 code fixes are surviving in new infrastructure protection efforts, the General Accounting Office reported this month.

Interagency communication, contingency planning, risk analysis, project management and independent software review all should continue, GAO said.

Passed a test

'An explosion of computer interconnectivity has revolutionized' communications and business practices, said the study, Year 2000 Computing Challenge, which appears online at www.gao.gov.

By overcoming the code glitches in its systems, 'the government passed a major test' in learning to protect its critical infrastructure, GAO said.

For example, the State Department developed eight products and processes it has kept. They include standard management indicators, regular reporting and establishment of a so-called war room, or central hub for information management.

Prior to the massive year 2000 effort, no agency had a complete inventory of its information technology assets, GAO said. The repositories created in the past few years will stand agencies in good stead for the future, it said.

Independent validation and verification proved to be particularly beneficial in spotting many non-date-related software errors at the Defense, Energy and Health and Human Services departments, and the Customs Service, GAO said.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported that working on year 2000 had made it 'better prepared to respond to multiple simultaneous events.'

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