The state’s mission-critical systems are 76 percent compliant and overall Year 2000 computer program risk ratings continue to decrease, says an independent evaluation just released to Gov. Gary Locke’s cabinet.

“We are pleased that Washington State agencies continue to make good progress preparing for the Year 2000,” said Steve Kolodney, director of the Department of Information Services. He told the cabinet that of the 18 agencies reviewed, 14 received a low overall program risk rating and four received a moderate risk rating. “None of the agencies increased their overall risk this cycle, and two agencies decreased their overall risk to low,” he added.

Thirty-six projects with high business impact or judged at-risk during the last review period were also assessed this round. Of those projects, 10 were certified as Year 2000 compliant, 10 received a low risk rating, eight received a moderate risk rating and eight received a high risk rating. According to the report, all of the eight projects that received high overall risk ratings had missed key milestones. For four of them, “milestones” is the only area at high risk.

The other four projects recorded three or more areas at high risk and had not yet completed contingency planning.

“We are not advancing any recommendations in this report. It is a good report and shows lots of progress,” said Barry Rau of Sterling Associates, the lead contractor monitoring the state’s Year 2000 progress.The next report will focus on certifications.

Agencies planning to complete renovation of critical systems later than June 1999 must have a contingency plan in place and ready to go into operation by June 30, according to Clare Donahue, DIS chief deputy director and chair of the Year 2000 Steering Committee.

“The governor’s goal of no interruption of vital pubic services can be met with sound contingency planning. Overall, state agencies have made solid progress in all areas, risk is decreasing and contingency planning continues throughout Washington,” she says.

Additional information is available on the DIS website at access.wa.gov/dis. for a copy of any of the consultants’ reports, call the DIS Communication Services office at (360) 902-3571.