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1998-05-18 13:04:30


Beirut: Another Disaster in the Making



When you think "disater zone," you think "Beirut." Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The central bank of Lebanon has issued three deadlines for the nation's banks to get y2k fixed:

1. July 31, 1998: making committee studies of y2k

2. Feb. 28, 1999: Assessment

3. June 30, 1999: finish testing

Problem: they forgot about actually correcting the code. Oh, well: a minor discrepancy.

Of course, other banks are tied to the banks of Lebanon (and all other banks). This raises the question of shared data. Noncompliant data will corrupt data in compliant computers (if any).

There is a technical solution: the complete collapse of telecommunications. This will prevent both the import and export of noncompliant data. I think it's the most likely solution.

This is a Reuters story (May 15) that won't be on-line for long.

* * * * * * *

BEIRUT, May 15 (Reuters) - Lebanon's central bank said on Friday it would take serious measures to shield the country's economy and banks from the millennium computer bug by end-June 1999.

In a statement, The Bank of Lebanon outlined a three-stage plan designed to cope with the inability of many computers to handle 21st century dates.

The first phase of the campaign calls on banks and institutions to form committees to complete studies on the problem by the end of July 1998.

Banks that fail to comply will be subject to penalties that include a ban on publishing their 1998 and 1999 financial results. . . .

The second stage of the Lebanese central bank's campaign involves identifying software and systems that needed to be replaced with technology that can verify digits from the year 2000. That stage will have a deadline of end-February 1999.

In the third stage, banks and institutions will be required to complete testing of computer systems by end-June 1999.


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