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Y2K Completion Date Slippage Continues To Concern.

Media Release
28 SEPTEMBER


Y2K National Readiness - Completion Date Slippage Continues To Concern.

The Y2K Readiness Commission says its latest survey of New Zealand’s state of readiness shows that directors and chief executives of many organisations need to renew their focus on managing Y2K risks to their business, and reassure themselves about their business continuity planning.

The survey, undertaken in August, of business, local and central government and essential services such as power and water, shows that progress continues– but that an increased number of organisations have said they will not now be ready until the final quarter of 1999.

Commenting, Basil Logan, chairman of the Y2K Readiness Commission said:

“Progress continues – but we are concerned that too many organisations are reporting they will not now fully complete their preparations for Y2K until very close to the end of the year.

“The Commission appreciates that achieving readiness has not been an easy task. However, chief executives and their directors must assure themselves that vital Y2K-related work will be completed on time and that risks to their business are actively managed.

“While their business may be Y2K-compliant, others upon whom they rely may not, and it would be prudent to anticipate slippage.

“22% of all organisations now report that it will take longer than they thought a few months ago to complete preparations,” Mr. Logan said.

Survey respondents reporting slippage of their expected completion dates say that becoming Y2K ready is more difficult than they expected. They also report that critical human resources, or equipment or software upgrades, were not always available when needed.

The survey shows that central and local government preparations are slightly ahead of large business. 40% of central government and 38% of local government are aiming for completion in the last quarter while 50% of large businesses expect to complete all preparations during that period.

“The trend of slippage is a concern. For example, in the June survey, only 26% of large businesses expected to complete their preparations in the last quarter. As the date has drawn nearer this number has nearly doubled,” said Mr Logan.

“Suppliers of essential services such as telecommunications and banking are generally well advanced. It is great news that public hospitals especially have made great strides in business continuity planning, although GPs are lagging.

“Utilities have a high degree of confidence in each other’s Y2K preparation. However, the public, their customers, appear to have less confidence. We suggest that product and service providers give regular, clear updates on their preparations and service expectations.”

Almost all small and medium enterprises now plan to do some preparation for Y2K, but fewer are thinking of business continuity planning.

“We are concerned that approximately 40% still don’t consider that they need a continuity plan. The most common reasons given are that they expect problems will only affect them for a short amount of time, or that they can manage any problems that arise by using manual systems.

“SMEs should check through the Commission’s planning guide sent to all SMEs earlier this year, for practical effective planning they can do before the end of the year” said Mr Logan.

Suggestions and tools for assessing and managing risks are also available on the Commission’s website – www.y2k.govt.nz

Ends


Or visit the Commission’s website: www.y2k.govt.nz

The Y2K Readiness Commission is charged with advising, monitoring, promoting and increasing the understanding of the Y2K risk so that New Zealand is able to conduct business through the Year 2000.

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