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1998-05-08 13:13:03


Britain's Robin Guenier Says It's Too Late: Contingency Plans Needed



The man who heads Taskforce 2000, the original y2k awareness organization in Britain, now says that it is too late to fix y2k. The government must now begin working on contingency plans.

Mr. Guenier has waited patiently for some sign of comprehensive action, but it has not come. He is now no longer willing to play the "it can be fixed" game, which is what everyone wants to hear, since it is calming news.

From now on, this opinion will steadily spread across the globe. The panic will begin in 1999. The panic will be fully justified by the events of the year 2000.

This is from the London DAILY TELEGRAPH (March 23).

* * * * * * * *

IT is now too late to fix the Millennium computer bug and urgent contingency plans are needed to limit damage to the national infrastructure, the head of a former Government advisory body said yesterday.

On the eve of a speech by Tony Blair on Government proposals to tackle the Millennium bug, Robin Guenier, who was the head of Taskforce 2000 under the former Tory government, said that a satisfactory outcome was now impossible. He said that correcting the bug was even more complex than originally thought and most companies had made no preparations. Gwynneth Flower, the director of Action 2000, set up by the Labour Government to advise on the bug, has said that it is "a problem that could bring down a government".

With only 20 months until 2000, only 16 per cent of public sector companies have started to convert software. . . .

Mr Guenier said that, despite widespread warnings, business, industry and the Government had failed to take the issue seriously. "Significant numbers of large companies do not have it under control," he said. It is, put quite simply, too late. The outcome will range from inconvenience to disaster." Mr Guenier called on the Government to "unambiguously confirm that we are now dealing with an emergency" and draw up appropriate contingency plans. . . .

Mr Guenier urged the Government to insist that the chief executives of all large utilities provide assurances that there will be no service interruption. Despite repeated requests, none of the water companies will confirm that they have satisfactorily corrected the computer systems that control the supply of water and disposal of sewage. British Telecom has published the measures it is taking to ensure that telephone services work next century, but it cannot guarantee it will be possible to make or receive calls on Jan 1.


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