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Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. GIVEN $16 MILLION FOR Y2K


The Virgin Islands has received $16 million from the federal government to bring its computer systems into Y2K compliance.
"This new package of federal assistance will not only fix our computers, but substantially reduce our debt service costs and ease our critical cash flow problems by substituting federal dollars for locally borrowed ones," Gov. Charles Turnbull said Wednesday in a written statement. "That makes this grant a very important part of our financial recovery."
Earlier this year, the Turnbull administration was authorized to borrow as much as $30 million to bring the government's computer systems into compliance.
The Y2K computer problem threatens to shut down computers and computer systems around the world. Computer experts fear that unless such machines are reprogrammed or replaced, computers that recognize the year with only two digits will malfunction on next New Year's Day because they will think the year is 1900.
This may drastically affect computers that run date-based programs, such as those that calculate interest in banks. The Y2K bug's effects on other computers is unknown.
"We in the Department of Interior are particularly proud of this funding since it represents a major new source of assistance for the Virgin Islands, and one that is very much needed," said Danny Aranza, acting director of the Office of Insular Affairs.
"I am pleased OIA seized the opportunity to work with the White House, the Governor and the Delegate to Congress early this year to help solve a major problem in all of the islands before it damaged the local economies or interfered with their abilities to govern," Aranza said.
In the statement, V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christensen lauded the assistance given to the territory.
"I am pleased that the joint efforts of our offices have resulted in this historic success. I want to thank Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and the Office of Insular Affairs . . . for responding to the V.I.'s request to provide additional Y2K funding for the territory, as it works to meet the crucial challenge of becoming Y2K compliant at the earliest opportunity," Christensen said.

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