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1998-03-11 08:22:58


Australian Government Will Not Correct Everything, Says Y2K Expert



The man in charge of Australian government's Year 2000 awareness program said on March 10 that the government will not be able to fix all of its systems by 2000. It must now create "work-arounds." It must concentrate only on mission-critical code.

He also says that big businesses must do the same. They cannot finish, either.

Small businesses are PC-dependent. As many as 10% of them will go bankrupt -- possibly more.

He warns of a possible economic meltdown.

This is the first time that I recall anyone in an official government position saying anything this startling for publication. Slowly, word is getting out. But not fast enough.

This is from the AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (March 11).

* * * * * * *

The Government has run out of time to fix its year 2000 problems and will not be prepared by January 1, 2000, according to the head of its millennium bug awareness program.

Mr Graeme Inchley, CEO of the Government's Year 2000 initiative, also predicted the computer problems caused by the change of century could easily translate into widespread small business failures -- and possibly even trigger an economic recession.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Inchley said the best Canberra could hope for was to fix its most critical systems and put up "work arounds" for the others. . . .

Mr Inchley also named personal computer systems as an area of concern. "There are about 10 million PCs in Australia and if only 5 per cent of them fail to operate on January 1, 2000, then we will have a major problem," he said.

He warned that the 2000 bug would also translate into a broader economic setback for Australia because of the heavy dependence of small businesses on PCs.

"It only takes 10 per cent of Australia's small businesses to fold at one time to bring on a recession. There is a strong possibility that the figure will be much greater than 10 per cent because of the failure of small business to act. We're not just talking recession but major economic meltdown." . . .

According to Mr Inchley, big businesses have also run out of time to fix their year 2000 problems if they do not already have comprehensive programs in place.


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