John A. Koskinen, the president's Y2K adviser, stopped short of declaring victory over the Y2K bug at a noon briefing today.
He said he had ruled out any major Y2K problems arising abroad that could harm the U.S. economy but wanted to wait through the day and see how the stock markets operated before determining that no significant Year 2000 computer threats existed.
Koskinen said the stock markets had opened "without any reported incidents."
According to the data flowing into the White House's $50 million command center, which has been on alert for Y2K problems since Friday, only minor glitches have seemed to interrupt companies and governments. On Sunday, for example, the Godiva Chocolate Co. discovered its cash registers would not work in its New York stores, but the company downloaded a patch and had its businesses up and running by noon.
In Sweden, 100,000 bank customers discovered they could not access their accounts because they had forgotten to update their browsers' software.
But the series of small glitches showing up, Koskinen said, left him with virtually no concern that they would grow into problems for the economy.
In the federal government, there were few reports of any problems.
The Social Security Administration, which sent out monthly benefit checks to 44 million Americans, opened this morning with no problems. "It was business as usual," Koskinen said.
One agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, continued to battle a computer glitch that stopped gun dealers from electronically registering for licenses, Koskinen said. The computer shut down shortly after the rollover to the new year, but Koskinen said it had not been determined whether it had been caused by a Y2K problem.
There was also a report of two electric power outages in Pakistan -- one for six hours and another for eight hours -- but Koskinen said he did not know if they were caused by computer breakdowns or because of bad weather.
Koskinen said he briefed Vice President Gore on Y2K situations on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday. He said Gore expressed "a sigh of relief and satisfaction that it was a job well done."