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Audit Outlines Plan for Computer Crisis


Ventura County's current, department-by-department approach to dealing with the year 2000 computer crisis should give way to a "centralized, structured and coordinated effort," according to an interim audit by the auditor-controller's office.

Unless measures are taken to remedy the problem, the inability of many computers to deal with any dates in 2000 is expected to cause widespread problems for governments and businesses throughout the world.

To that end, the auditor-controller's office has begun a probe into the county's strategies for dealing with the so-called Y2K problem--and it has found that a more organized approach is needed to ensure full compliance.

The interim audit report released Thursday recommends that the county's information technology committee be given full authority and responsibility for resolving the problem. Additionally, the report recommends that the committee select a project manager with the needed technical expertise and develop a mechanism to involve county departments and agencies.

The auditor-controller's office came to its conclusions after surveying 32 county departments and agencies that were asked how they were addressing the issue.

Only 19 departments responded, but from that sample, it became clear to the auditor that a more centralized approach was needed.

According to the audit, which is ongoing, the changes to computer systems should be made not by Dec. 31, 1999, as many people assume, but a year earlier to allow for testing and implementation. And in some cases, the changes need to be made even earlier, the report said.

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