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Contact: Steve Jensen

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today unveiled a program that offers Connecticut's 169 municipalities free access to her agency's expertise in attacking the Year 2000 computer bug via a telephone hotline and an Internet web site.

Wyman announced the Year 2000 Municipal Help Desk to more than 180 municipal officials attending a Year 2000 seminar held by Wyman's staff at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. She also described the program at a press conference held at Hartford City Hall, joined by several municipal leaders from around the state, and in a letter sent today to all 169 municipalities.

Wyman said the Help Desk is designed to share the knowledge and experience her staff gained in their recently-completed effort that made two of the state's largest financial computer systems Year 2000 compliant. By using state employees to do the work in-house instead of hiring outside consultants, the project will cost an estimated $750,000 - about $5 million less than was estimated.

"Since I took office four years ago, I have tried whenever possible to use the resources of my agency to help Connecticut's cities and towns," Wyman said. "I am hopeful that this service will allow towns to avoid some of the expense of paying consultants for advice we can give them for free."

The Help Desk will offer a telephone hotline to the Comptroller's information-technology staff, and a new Internet Web site that municipalities can tap into for guidance and advice.

The program will help towns define the scope of their Year 2000 problem, suggest strategies for attacking it, and make software and technical data available through a series of links on the Web site.

"I believe our Year 2000 Municipal Help Desk can be a model for other agencies to share resources with towns struggling to serve their citizens in the most cost-efficient way possible," Wyman said. "In my view, that is exactly what state government is supposed to do."

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For Immediate Release
September 29, 1998

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