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Franklin Co. gets 2nd set of Y2K bids

August 24, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A second round of bids to make hundreds of Franklin County computers Y2K compliant were lower and much closer together than three that were rejected by the Board of Commissioners two weeks ago.

American Advanced Computers of Williamsport, Md., lowered its bid by more than $10,000 to come in the lowest at $6,998.

RBA Inc. of State College, Pa., submitted a bid of $7,280 and Sunrise Computers sent in a bid of $13,657. The RBA bid was unchanged from the one submitted last month, but the Sunrise bid was about a third of its previous estimate for fixing the computers and software research.

The three companies were the only ones to submit bids in the first round.

American Advanced Computers account representative Phil Young said his company's bid was lower because a list of the county's 150 software applications had been included in the second request for bids.

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"It's basically off-the-shelf products that will be very easy to research off the (Internet)," he said.

When his company submitted its first bid, the list was not available and "I figured two hours of research per application," he said, adding that now he estimates research should take only a few minutes for each application.

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to award the contract on Thursday, according to Commissioner G. Warren Elliott. The research and installation of software patches are to be completed by Sept. 30.

County Management Information Systems Manager Robert Mahoney said most of the county's 345 computers need software patches to become Y2K compliant. Patching Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and other operating systems also should take just a few minutes each, he said.

"Originally, we had hoped to do it for under $20,000, now it looks like we can do it for under $10,000," Elliott said.

Most of the county's computers were purchased since 1996 and do not require major modifications or replacement, he said.

In case some of the county's computers or vendors do fail on Jan. 1, departments have been ordered to develop contingency plans to operate for from two to five days without computers. Those contingency plans will be put to the test on Sept. 22, when most departments will turn off their systems from noon to 4 p.m.

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