Responding to congressional criticism, the National Credit Union Administration on Monday said its assessment of the industry's preparation for the year-2000 computer crisis will be completed by February 1998.

Experts fear that on Jan. 1, 2000, computer systems will mistake the "00" in their internal clocks for 1900, causing computer breakdowns and disruptions in service. After requesting reports from financial regulators, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato upbraided the NCUA and the Federal Reserve Board for lacking aggressive plans to protect their institutions.

In 21 pages of follow-up material, the NCUA noted that it belongs to an interagency task force that is designing a special year-2000 examination.

NCUA also is drafting letters to credit unions and their technology suppliers requesting updates on their preparations. Vendors will be asked to certify that their products have been debugged.

The Fed's follow-up report awaits Chairman Alan Greenspan's signature, a spokesman said.

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