Businesses should not relax their millennium work and take comfort from the fact that the 9 September date problem is turning out to be a non event.
Government backed watchdog Action 2000 is concerned that businesses will regard today as a dress rehearsal for the millennium date change and be reassured by the fact that the little so far has gone wrong today.
A spokesperson for Action 2000 said: "Our biggest fear is that UK businesses take today as a dry run for 31 December. They will be disappointed."
She added: "Another more important date is the 29th February - do systems recognise that next year will be a leap year."
Today's date has been flagged as a potential problem because it relates to there being four nines in a row. In the past some systems - commonly mainframes with large amount of code based on the Cobol programming language - have used 9/9/999 to mark the end of a file or end of data, not anticipating the system would still be in use at that date.
Ian Hugo, assistant executive director of alternative industry watchdog Taskforce 2000, said: "Any problems with this date would have become apparent before now when it occurred as a real date in a system. Today is a non story."
The Action 2000 spokesperson said: "This is one area where we do agree. Problems associated with using the date as a programme marker would have been picked up by now."
Mike Kusmirak, spokesperson for The Year 2000 Support Centre, confirmed it was just a basic code problem and he had heard of no problems related to it.
"If there was a problem it would be hushed up. Any competent computer department will be able to cover up a problem," he said.
However, just to make sure everything turns out ship shape, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is on alert today. Shipping was one area where problems may have occurred with ageing systems.
Three emergency tugs are in service to respond to any difficulties caused to shipping in UK waters - three weeks earlier than usual.
John Garner, head of operations, said: "Although the MCA will be Y2K compliant it is not clear that all vessels that ply round our coasts may have taken the precautions to ensure their own systems are similarly compliant. As a precaution we have decided to bring the vessels on early to ensure added protection to our coastline."
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