The Inland Revenue and three other central government agencies have fallen behind with their Year 2000 fix programs and will not be Millennium compliant until September or later, it was revealed in Parliament today.
Leader of the House, Margaret Beckett, said the IR, Serious Fraud Office, Intervention Board and the Northern Ireland Prison Service had indicated for the first time that they would not hit their September deadlines.
Beckett’s statement came in response to a question from Aberdeen North MP Malcolm Savage, who requested latest details of the government’s preparedness.
Beckett said good progress had been made on fixing business critical systems and the bulk of work in most departments was already complete.
"However I remain concerned that a number of programs continue to show slippage," Beckett said.
"The Government will continue to manage the process closely. This includes ensuring that full business continuity plans are in place and tested by October."
Taskforce 2000 chairman Robin Guenier said the government had released very little good news about its Y2K progress to date.
"Projects are either on track or slipping, not finished," Guenier said.
He predicted more slippage as deadlines drew closer.
"Eighty per cent of big computer projects are late but they never say they’ll be late until just before they are," Guenier said.
"The horrible danger with Year 2000 is that people, with the best will in the world, believe that this time they’re really going to make it."
"History says that computer jobs slip - you find problems you didn’t expect."
A spokeswoman for Action 2000 said government departments and other organisations that were still working on fix programs needed to ensure they made productive use of the time they had left.
"There’s not much time for slippage, but it is advantageous to know now rather than finding out in September or October," she said.
Action 2000 was not expecting many other organisations to fall behind in coming months, the spokeswoman added.
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