Action 2000 today issued what it described as a "stark" warning to businesses that they could face serious legal action if they do not address problems arising from the millennium bug.
The government run campaign group said businesses could find themselves facing litigation if the effects of the bug prevent them from fulfilling a contract, if their systems are linked to another business and cause failure and disruption, or if they sell non millennium ready products.
An Action 2000 spokesman said that companies are still lagging behind in activities such as contingency planning which is part of legal and insurance planning.
"Many people see Y2K as an IT issue at base level or a business issue, they need to start thinking of it as a legal and insurance issue. There are only a few months to go" he said.
Independent Y2K action group Taskforce 2000 slammed the UK government group's advice, saying as usual it was too late.
Rob Wilson, assistant director of Taskforce 2000, commented: "To start issuing stark warnings now, particularly when the legal implications have been know for over a year, smacks of desperation."
He added: "It's an admission of failure."
The Y2K Lawyers Association said while its is impossible to assess the real risk of liability, it is vital for companies to have a basic grasp of principle and have a clear risk reduction plan of action.
Graham Ross, vice chair of the association, commented: "Whilst it may be late, it has not happened yet, accountability will only follow from loss. Whatever has or has not been done, can be put right to a degree and loss reduced."
The Y2K Lawyers Association has a list of guidelines at its Web site www.y2klaw.org.
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