Action 2000 announced new measures last week to protect the national infrastructure from the effects of the Year 2000 problem. A peer review system, within Action 2000's National Infrastructure Forum, will allow information to be shared between vital infrastructure companies in sectors such as telecoms and electricity so they can rely on each other during the date change period. Such a system, whereby a water company might review an electricity firm, for example, would avoid the sharing of commercially sensitive information between competitors, according to Don Cruickshank, chairman of Action 2000. "The aim is disclosure among the members of this group so that confidence is high that it will be 'business as usual' when the day comes," he said. "Our work does not get more important than this - elements of the national infrastructure underpin everything else and everyone is reliant on them." Robin Guenier, executive director of Taskforce 2000, an independent Y2K campaign group, said that health service trusts and companies are not getting enough information from utilities. "What is needed is the dissemination of information so that the public know what is going on," he argued. "There is only 15 months left to the end of the century. People have no idea how close this is. Although (peer review) is a good idea, it is a pathetic response to what is needed." Meanwhile Margaret Beckett, Leader of the House of Commons, has reported on the governments progress in tackling the millennium problem. "There has been some slippage in a number of target dates for completing compliance work since the last review and a number of the target dates remain close to the end of 1999," she said. "Greater focus needs to be given to embedded and telecommunications systems and contingency planning is needed."
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