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1998-02-16 13:13:48


Great Britain: Insufficient Resources to Solve the Problem



Robin Guenier, who ran TASK Force 2000 until the government stopped funding it, recently reported that there are not enough resources to spend the 30 billion pounds necessary to save Britain from y2k.

Richard Holway says industry can absorb only 15 billion. He underestimates the ability of thre free market to bid up prices. The 30 billion will be spent if it is made available. It will buy 15 billions worth of services at today's prices.

This is from the FINANCIAL TIMES (Feb. 16).

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UK: Fizz goes out of 'bomb' battle

* * * * *

Few think Robin Guenier, pioneer of the UK's awareness programme, was exaggerating the cost to the UK at more than 30bn. Recent figures from some large UK corporations -- more than 73m for Reuters, 88m for British Petroleum, 100m for BAA and 250m for Unilever -- suggest he understated the situation.

But cost, for Mr Guenier at any rate, is no longer the issue. He says: "It does not matter what the amount is or how we calculate it. We simply cannot spend that amount because we do not have the resources to spend it on."

Richard Holway, author of a comprehensive annual report on the UK software industry, analyses the number of software specialists available for employment on remedial work and calculates that the most the UK could spend by 2000 is about 15bn. He also says that the most the whole of UK industry has spent to date on defusing the bomb is less than 1bn.

The inescapable consequence of either Mr Guenier's or Mr Holway's calculations is that by 2000 there will be a yawning gap between what should have been done and what remains to be accomplished, with small and medium-sized companies and government departments bearing the brunt of the shortfall.


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