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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 5, 1999


                  Funds for the District of Columbia to 
                   Upgrade Computers for the Year 2000

President Clinton today signed an emergency designation to release $62 million to help the District of Columbia prepare its critical computer systems for the Year 2000. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the release of these funds this morning at a meeting of Washington area business leaders who support the interests of the District of Columbia. She noted that the Administration has played an active role in securing funds from Congress in the FY 1999 budget for the District to use for this purpose.

The funds will support a range of activities to prepare the District's most crucial computer systems to avoid disruption in vital services such as public safety, transportation, and social services on January 1, 2000, and thereafter. In particular, this support will help the District repair, test, and in turn obtain independent validation of the upgraded computer systems. Additionally, the District will create contingency plans and train personnel in the execution of these plans, as well as in the operation of the upgraded computer systems.

The District of Columbia qualifies, along with federal agencies, for Y2K emergency funds that were part of the FY1999 budget. The Administration encouraged Congress to include the District of Columbia in its provisions for Y2K funds because the District is host to the federal government, and the smooth operation of District services is essential to the activities of the federal government.