The Comptroller's Office said Tuesday that it is ordering all national banks to complete surveys on the year-2000 computer problem by June 30.

The 10-page questionnaire will supplement information gathered by OCC examiners and "help you compare your efforts against some industry 'best practices,'" Acting Comptroller Julie L. Williams wrote in a letter to bank chief executives.

The survey-designed with assistance from the Gartner Group consulting firm-also will help OCC examiners determine which banks to target for increased supervision. Results will be factored into each bank's second- quarter year-2000 rating, the agency said.

The OCC mailed the year-2000 survey on May 28, which means banks have approximately one month to complete it. Mark P. Jacobsen, head of the agency's year-2000 oversight committee, estimated that the "right person" at a bank could fill it out in about six hours.

The survey, modeled on the General Accounting Office's year-2000 assessment guide, is broken into six sections.

"General" questions concern a bank's software and operating systems. "Awareness" queries concern the existence of an internal year-2000 management structure and strategy. "Assessment"-at 19 questions the longest section-seeks to determine how well a bank has inventoried its potential year-2000 problems, both internally and with external partners. "Renovation" covers system fixes, "validation" addresses testing of fixes, and "implementation" zeros in on the execution of fixes as well as contingency planning in the event a bank's best efforts go awry.

Similar self-assessment surveys will be issued every quarter, the OCC said.

Separately, the OCC announced its first-quarter year-2000 ratings for banks. Of the 2,552 national banks it regulates, 13% received a "needs improvement" grade from the agency, while fewer than 20 banks-or less than 1% of the whole-were given an "unsatisfactory" rating. The bulk-87%-got a "satisfactory" grade.

OCC examiners will conduct quarterly follow-up reviews with all national banks. Banks rated less than satisfactory are likely to be reviewed on-site and more often, and are subject to a range of enforcement actions, the agency said.

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