The member of Parliament who has spent the past year trying to pass a Bill enforcing Year 2000 compliancy admitted today that it is unlikely to get its crucial third reading before parliament disbands on Friday.
The Companies (Millennium Computer Compliance) Bill, tabled by David Atkinson, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, proposes that every company assess the capacity of their computer systems for Year 2000 compliance at the end of each financial year.
He said the Bill could still be debated today, but admitted it was ?dying?. Atkinson is the only MP to back the Bill and, even if he is re-elected into the new parliament, the motion will have to go through the entire process again.
The Bill received its first and second reading in December and January, but was opposed by the government at the Bill?s unfinished reporting stage on 28 February. The government believes its campaign efforts, through the Year 2000 Taskforce, are sufficient to raise awareness. A spokesperson at the Conservative Party?s central office said: ?We are against legislation which would bring unfair burden to all companies, especially those that are not critically dependent on IT.?
Atkinson said: ?The present Tory government doesn?t support the Bill because it would impose more regulations, but what greater regulation is there compared to companies going bankrupt??
The Bill has yet to pass the debate stage at the House of Commons before it gets its third reading, but lies fifty-sixth in the queue of business scheduled for this parliament's last three days. After that it would be passed to the House of Lords. Atkinson told delegates at a conference organised by the Y2Ki Consultancy today: ?I will be the first in the queue to forward my Bill to the new House of Commons after the General Election.?
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