Local Government Blueprint Coordinates Y2K Community Preparedness

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Local government officials wondering how to pull together numerous Y2K preparedness plans within their community can now consult a free planning blueprint on the web.

The Millennium Management Blueprint was created by the Candle Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif., in response to what its executives say is a lack of cohesive planning on the part of many local governments.

Candle, an information technology firm, consulted its own experts and government planners on the best way to integrate various Y2K contingency plans being developed by public and private groups in communities across the country.

'When we talked to communities, most were active in trying to correct computer systems,' says Richard Kennedy, who directs Candle's Millennium Institute. 'What was missing was looking outside to those connections and linkages to the private sector and nonprofits.'

Company officials say citizens will look to local leaders on Jan. 1, 2000, if interruptions in essential services occur, and many are ill-equipped to cope.

The blueprint was developed to help government Y2K managers decide where to begin, how to monitor their and others' progress, and how best to communicate to the public what's in the works.

The Y2K bug refers to potential interruptions in basic services if inadequately programmed computer chips misread the year 2000 for 1900. Although technicians are busy remediating computer programs, there is a worry that not all of the offending data will have been routed from integrated systems by the turn of the century.

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