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Franklin Co. feels confident about Y2K

September 22, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - When their internal clocks hit midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, the more than 200 computers in Franklin County, Pa., offices should continue humming along just fine, according to Robert Mahoney, the county's management information systems director.

Mahoney said Tuesday that the Y2K problem, as the coming of the millennium is known in the world of computers, should be solved at the county level months before the new century begins.

"In general, I can tell you the county is in real good shape," said Mahoney, who estimated correcting all software and hardware problems will cost less than $100,000.

Mahoney outlined for the county commissioners plans to deal with potential problems, including forming an executive committee to oversee year 2000 compliance. He said the commissioners should serve on the committee, along with other elected officials and representatives from the courts, human services, and fiscal and other departments.

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Committee members will then form working groups within their respective departments to examine the extent of the problem, contact computer software and data processing vendors and make recommendations, he said.

Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said the committee should be ready to begin working in October and have the county's systems year 2000-compliant by next July.

Mahoney said much of the problem is being solved by computer attrition. Some agencies already have newer computers that are able to recognize the change in centuries without crashing. Out-of-date software is also being replaced.

Year 2000 compliance may be a bigger issue outside of the county, Mahoney said. He said the county is far ahead of the federal government in fixing its problem and much will depend on what banks, utilities and other companies servicing the county are doing.

Toward that end, Mahoney said the county will prepare a "disaster recovery plan" to deal with unforeseen failures.

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