Confronted with one of the biggest management issues in its history, the Commonwealth Government has released the latest report on its Y2K compliance and, ironically, it is the Department of Communications, the Arts and Information Technology that appears to be the least prepared.
Categorised portfolio by portfolio, the Federal Government report indicates the Department of Communications, the Arts and Information Technology has 36 per cent of its business-critical systems compliant as of February 1999. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's compliance process is 92 per cent complete, with the majority of the remaining departments between 38 and 72 per cent compliant.
Richard Alston, the minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, is anticipating that the Government will maintain its ability to provide key services as the clock ticks over to 01/01/2000, with the overall number of business-critical systems reported to be ready to face the millennium bug increasing by 15 per cent over the past quarter.
According to Alston, the state and territory governments are also making good progress in the high-stakes process. But the Government is concerned that the private sector needs more attention, particularly the smaller businesses. The Government estimates it will spend approximately $600 million on alleviating a year 2000 catastrophe within the Commonwealth agencies.