Nearly all UK businesses are confident they are ready for the millennium bug, claimed government watchdog Action 2000 today.
Action 2000 says its research shows that 99 per cent of FTSE 500 companies and 93 per cent of companies employing over 250 staff are prepared for the date change, and they expect no material disruption. Only seven per cent have still to complete their critical embedded systems programme.
Interestingly, big business appears to have a high degree of confidence in their supply chains, with every one of the FTSE 500s surveyed claiming to have undertaken work with their suppliers and 66 per cent claiming to have visited the suppliers. As many as 96 per cent say they have full confidence in their suppliers.
"What this shows is that the previous weak link, due to the potential failure from the interdependency of the supply chain network, is no longer cause for concern," according to Action 2000's chairman, Don Cruickshank.
Of the 250 companies surveyed, 84 per cent say they're confident about essential services. The level of activity amongst small and medium enterprises is such that 84 per cent are on course to complete with no recognisable risk, and 24 per cent are complete in their preparations.
Cruickshank added: "It would be wrong to assume that the SME community is less than ready for the Year 2000. The high levels of readiness in individual areas such as IT and embedded systems indicate that SMEs have undertaken the work necessary to beat the bug."
Taskforce 2000 disagrees profoundly, stating: "We are genuinely shocked by the interpretation Action 2000 has put on these figures. The statistics clearly do not support their conclusions, and the PR spin is seriously misleading both British business and the British public."
The watchdog continues: "What we would like to see now, especially regarding the FTSE 500 and 250 surveys, are the actual detailed figures."
Taskforce 2000 complains that the figures are no more than subjective reassurance rather than plain objective facts, adding: "There is little time left. In practice, we all have to wait and see how the consequences of the Y2K date-change unfold over the next six months, not the remaining 32 days, as Action 2000 seems to believe."
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