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October 1, 1999

Agencies Perform Statewide Drill To Prepare For Y2K

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today announced that his Office of Technology and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency led state agencies through a drill designed to better prepare for potential problems related to the "Y2K bug" and to help agencies review procedures, performance and staffing concerns that may arise.

"Preparing state government for the new millenium is an important task that we take very seriously," Ryan said. "This drill is part of our on-going plan to do everything we can to make state government as ready as possible for Y2K. We're getting down to crunch time and drills like this will hopefully minimize any problems that may occur at the turn of the century."

Agencies throughout the state participated in a daylong exercise that included a check of systems and procedures the IEMA emergency command center in Springfield, according to Mary Barber Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer for the state. The drill also included the participation of local government agencies and companies that do business with state agencies.

During the drill, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several utility companies including GTE, Ameritech and Commonwealth Edison helped to funnel information to the Emergency Operations Center for analysis by the assessment teams.

"This was only a test, but we operated on a generator and simulated reactions to events - some Y2K-related and others not," Reynolds said. "We learned some things and are confident that we will be better prepared if issues arise."

Each month, state agencies report to CMS and the Technology Office on the general state of preparedness of computer systems, programs, projects and personnel in anticipation of possible Y2K problems.

"The Governor instructed each agency to make Y2K preparedness a top priority within each of their departments, which they have done," Reynolds said. "Now we have to test, retest and review our plans to make every effort to prepare for Dec. 31, and the days to follow."

While some agencies have nearly completed Y2K conversion projects, others have additional testing and analysis to complete. All agencies will continue to provide monthly reports to the Governor through January 2000.


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