Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






May 6, 1997




May 31, 1998











Unemployment Insurance Service




National Office (NO) Provided Computer Programs and software specifications for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Tax Performance System (TPS), Benefit Accuracy Measurement (BAM), UI Required Reports (UIRR), Interstate Connection (ICON) Software, and the Year 2000 Issue

  1. Purpose. To advise the State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) and Regional Offices (ROs) of Year 2000 compliancy regarding mainframe computer software and software specifications provided by the UI NO and software provided for the ICON system by Lockheed Martin Integrated Business Solutions (LMIBS).

  2. Background. Computer applications that use dates could provide a potential risk of computer failures when the year 2000 is involved if they are not programmed to handle data entry of four-digit date (century and year) fields. Difficulties in paying UI benefits, determining contribution rates, and meeting administrative expenses are a few of the problems that States could experience. In order to avoid these types of processing malfunctions, States have been asked to assess their systems and applications to identify and correct potential Year-2000 problems. Questions of Year-2000 compliancy have arisen regarding TPS and BAM COBOL programs provided to States by the NO and ICON system software provided by LMIBS.

  3. Software Status. The status of NO software and LMIBS provided software is as follows:

      a.  Tax Performance System (TPS) - The COBOL program used for this application is Year-2000 compliant. However, the State developed extracts used for input to the COBOL program must be reviewed by the States for potential problems.

      b.  Benefit Accuracy Measurement (BAM) - The current COBOL application is not Year-2000 compliant. This program is being rewritten for Year-2000 compliancy in conjunction with incorporating deniedclaims for the Denials Pilot scheduled for later this calendar year. New record layouts for State developed extracts used for input to the COBOL program will be included and must be reviewed and implemented by the States. Official directives will be issued providing detailed information on the new record layout and a timetable for installation plans of the revised COBOL program.

      c.  UI Required Reports (UIRR) - Although the NO did not provide a COBOL program, the State developed sampling programs and the ASCII Load programs built for loading report data should be reviewed and revised if needed by the States for Year-2000 compliancy.

      d.  ICON Software - The direct impact of Year-2000 on the ICON system has been identified. These areas are the model code that has been prepared by LMIBS and distributed to the States over the years and the actual records that are being telecommunicated which contain dates (common carrier).

        (1)  The ICON model code uses date fields to calculate the "effective date" and "benefit-year-ending" dates on UI claims. It has been determined that this code will calculate these dates correctly through the year 2050. Therefore, there is no reason to perform any modifications to this code at this time.

        (2)  The actual records that are being telecommunicated currently carry a six-digit date, e.g., 01/01/97. Therefore, these records will need to be modified to handle the century date which will expand the year from two to four digits, i.e. 01/01/1997. This will be done by setting aside unused space in the record to handle these extra two digits. Our plans are to have LMIBS make the required changes in the common carrier and distribute to the States the code and instructions no later than January 1998.

        (3)  States which do not use the ICON model code must assess their programs which perform the same functions as the model code and ensure that this non-model code is Year-2000 compliant.

  4. Action required. SESA Administrators are requested to:

      a.  Review and modify the extract programs used in the TPS sampling procedures.

      b.  Plan for revisions to BAM extract programs and installation of the new NO COBOL program. Specifications will be forthcoming later this year.

      c.  Review and modify sampling and ASCII load programs used in the UIRR system.

      d.  Begin reviewing ICON-related programs for Year-2000 compliancy and start planning for format changes to the common ICON carrier.

  5. Inquires. Refer questions regarding Year-2000 compliancy to the appropriate Regional Office.