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Y2K deadline will be double for some Government agencies

Y2K deadline will be double for some Government agencies

Deadline is fast approaching for NSW Government agencies, all of which are obliged to submit complete Y2K contingency and disaster recovery plans to the Office of Information Technology (OIT) by September 30, 1998.

But for some agencies it will be a double deadline.

According to a NSW Government spokesperson, some larger NSW Government agencies failed to submit Y2K risk assessments to the NSW Office of Information Technology by the June 30, 1998 deadline.

The spokesperson said OIT extended the deadline for those agencies' risk assessments to September 30, 1998 when it became apparent they would find it unfeasible to submit the assessments by June 30.

September 30 is also the date by which agencies should obtain certification of plans and estimates from the Audit office, external auditors or business analysts on the ITS2060 panel contract.

These admissions follow a report, published by ARN yesterday and released by Deloitte Touche last week, which revealed that apart from Australia's top 150 organisations, only 29 per cent of respondents said they will be year 2000 compliant by the end of 1998, More alarmingly, the report showed that 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.

To assist agencies prepare their contingency and disaster recovery plans, OIT has issued a guide entitled Year 2000 Contingency Planning.

The guide warns: "Many agencies may not be able to complete the renovation and testing of their mission-critical systems and may face major disruptions in their operations. At the same time, systems that have been renovated and tested may encounter unanticipated year 2000 problems."

The document places responsibility for contingency planning firmly with individual bodies: "Remember, the specific details for each agency's individual year 2000 contingency management plans must be worked out by the individual agency. For this reason OIT has no standard for either contingency or disaster recovery plans. Its role is to report on whether such plans have been prepared. The adequacy of the plan is a matter for each agency, its CEO and its senior management team to determine," states the guide.

The guide also offers pointers on basic procedures to follow to develop a Y2K contingency and disaster recovery plan.

OIT makes no demand on agencies to develop specific emergency response plans, although the document contains a warning to agencies that "extensive year 2000 failures could tie up emergency services resources. Agencies may find themselves also having to deal with emergencies such as people trapped in lifts. The State Emergency Management Committee is reviewing the State Disaster Plan and agencies should be familiar with the workings of that plan to ensure their own emergency readiness."

The Year 2000 Contingency Planning guide is available from OIT's Web site at (http://www.oit.nsw.gov.au/).


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