July 14, 1998


The 'Millennium Bug' is a vivid and powerful reminder of the ways we are growing ever-more interdependent. The powerful forces of change that have helped create unimagined abundance also bear with them the possibilities of new and unexpected consequences. This is the way of the new era. No government acting alone can meet this new challenge of the Information Age. No company, or even industry, can act alone.

President Bill Clinton
July 14, 1998

Today, President Clinton and Vice President Gore review the federal government's efforts to prepare its critical systems for the Year 2000 century date change and challenge businesses to take responsibility for making sure that their systems are ready for the new millennium. The President will announce federal initiatives to promote information sharing on year 2000 efforts and to connect people who have skills for addressing the problem with employers who are in need of their services.

The Year 2000 Problem. Information technology has made possible advances ranging from the ability to invest money electronically in markets halfway around the globe to satellite tracking of approaching weather systems to ground breaking research to find cures for the most complex diseases. This far reaching advancement is threatened by the year 2000 problem (Y2K), which stems from the use in many computer systems of a two-digit dating method that assumes 1 and 9 are the first two digits of the year. Without programming changes, these systems will recognize "00" as the year 1900, not 2000, which would cause computers to either shut down or malfunction on January 1, 2000.

A Presidential Commitment To Meeting The Y2K Problem. Y2K is a problem that affects organizations and governments worldwide. President Clinton is committed to addressing this problem and encouraging businesses and other governments to focus on fixing their computers to ensure Y2K compliance:

Working Together Toward Y2K Solutions. Ensuring Y2K compliance requires a mutual effort between all sectors of our society. Today's announcements will encourage information sharing on Year 2000 solutions, protect those who assist others in becoming Y2K compliant, and increase awareness of the problem.

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