North Carolina Department of Correction - Correction News - February 1999

Preparations underway for Y2K

The way computers interpret numerals representing the year may prove a nightmare when the new century begins Jan. 1, 2000. Correction managers met Jan. 8 to discuss the Y2K, or Year Two Thousand problem, and make sure it’s not a problem for the department.

While much has been accomplished already, correction managers charted a path to ensure readiness for Y2K. David Mosley of Prison Facility Services said they had made sure basic operations at prisons were secure and locks, fences and lighting at prisons would work. Mosley said prisons were surveyed a year ago to determine if they had any Y2K problems. Information Management Director Bob Brinson said his staff has tested the OPUS computerized offender records system and it’s ready.

Despite their efforts to document OPUS’s readiness, Brinson said the level of concern about the Y2K problem has led to several rounds of tests and documentation of OPUS’s readiness. He said the state Auditor’s Office has a contractor who will soon test OPUS again.

Rod Rabold of Central Engineering is working with Mosley’s staff to begin checking correction facilities to determine whether building operations will be affected by Y2K. Rabold said a state government project is underway to review state buildings including 21 correction facilities.

Rabold will compile a list of any facility operations equipment containing date-sensitive computer chips for the Department of Administration. DOA has a contractor who will contact equipment manufacturers asking that they certify that their equipment will work properly after Jan. 1, 2000.

Correction managers agreed that the review of these 21 facilities will provide a blue print for checking other correction facilities.

Several correction managers said they will also be working on Y2K problems. Mike Williams of the Correction Transportation Shop said his employees will work to make sure all hand-held and mobile radios ordered and installed by his office were ready. Purchasing Director Larry Rhodes said he will contact companies that lease the department office space to make sure we would have no Y2K problems there.

The managers plan to meet again Feb. 5 to review what additional steps may be needed. u

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