Australia's top 150 organisations have revealed that they will each spend an average of $26.5 million while collectively their budget will rise to over $4 billion to prepare their fight against the millennium bug, according to a study by Deloitte Touche.
The report, issued late last week, also claimed that Australia's top 5 organisations would together spend $1.2 billion, whereas some smaller organisations would spend as little as $20,000 to combat the issue.
"Finance and insurance organisations are spending on average five times more than other industries at an average of approximately $60 million each," the report said.
"Organisations in the retail trade, property and business services, and mining and manufacturing industries are generally spending between $10 million and $12 million each year."
According to Dean Kingsley, partner of the Enterprise Risk Services group of Deloitte, the latest figures on year 2000 spending appear to be "highly conservative".
"Previous estimates of the total cost of year 2000 to the Australian economy were around $5 billion," he revealed.
Alarmingly, the report uncovered the fact that outside of the top 150 organisations, only 29 per cent of organisations will be year 2000 compliant by the end of 1998, while 10 per cent estimate they will not be compliant until the second half of 1999.
Meanwhile, 23 per cent of respondents did not provide an estimated date for compliance. A number of these stated the view that they will be dealing with year 2000 compliance until and beyond December 1999.