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Informational Memorandum
Subject:Remaining Challenges of Year 2000 Computer Problems
Date of Memorandum:02/07/2000
Expiration Date:
Office:OE
Signed By:Smith, Roland
FCA Contact Person:Holland, Tom
Contact Phone:703-883-4484
List of Attachments:none

INFORMATIONAL MEMORANDUM


February 7, 2000


To: The Chief Executive Officer
All Farm Credit System Institutions

From: Roland E. Smith, Director /s/
Office of Examination

Subject: The Remaining Challenges of Year 2000 (Y2K) Computer Problems


The new millenium dawned with few Y2K-related failures and with problems of far less severity than once feared. We are pleased to report that computer systems in both the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) and throughout the Farm Credit System (FCS) functioned reliably throughout the New Year’s weekend and the days that followed. Only a few minor Y2K “glitches” occurred and they were corrected quickly. This success results from the Y2K initiatives put forth by FCS and FCA staff. Yet, while the January 1, 2000 conversion was a key milestone, the Y2K computer problem is a chronic condition that should be monitored throughout 2000.

The success of January 1, 2000, is a legitimate basis for optimism. Nevertheless, the Informational Memorandum titled “Testing for Year 2000 Readiness,” issued May 20, 1998, contains several critical dates in which an institution’s systems or applications could fail. In fact, the next big test for computers will come on February 29, 2000. Some computer programs may not recognize this as a valid date. This so-called “leap year bug” results from a peculiarity of the Gregorian calendar, which inserts an extra day at the end of February every 4 years, omits it on years that begin a century, but puts it back when the year is divisible by 400. Programmers who knew the second of these rules but not the third may have developed programming code that omits 2000 as a leap year. So, while there was not a February 29, 1900, there is a February 29, 2000.

The Informational Memorandum titled “Reporting Year 2000 Status,” issued October 6, 1999, described the role of the Y2K Information Coordination Center (ICC) established by President Clinton’s Executive Order 13073. In addition, the Informational Memorandum detailed the Y2K reporting requirements for each FCS institution. The ICC has directed the same reporting process used for the January 1, 2000 conversion be employed for February 29, 2000. Thus, FCA will again be responsible for reporting to the ICC the status of the FCS’s and FCA’s operations.

The reporting process will be the same as used for the January 1, 2000 conversion. The appropriate FCA Field Office will contact your institution on Tuesday, February 29, 2000. At that time, your institution will need to respond to the following six questions:

1. Has a Y2K problem been identified?
2. How severe is the problem and is it mission critical?
3. What is the nature of the problem?
4. When do you estimate the problem will be corrected?
5. What is the impact of the problem on others (i.e., customers, other businesses, etc.)?
6. Are external resources needed to correct the problem?

Also, if an FCS institution identifies a Y2K-related problem, it should contact the appropriate FCA Field Office immediately and not wait for FCA to call.

Thank you, in advance, for your patience and help in complying with ICC requirements. If you have any questions about this memorandum, please call Tom Glenn at (703) 883-4412, or correspond on the Internet at e-mail address glennt@fca.gov.