A survey on the year 2000 problem conducted by the United Party of 150 key infrastructure companies and local government bodies seems to contradict a Commerce Ministry survey on the topic.
The ministry survey, announced last week, targeted small and medium-sized businesses, concluding that 93% of them were aware of the problem and 76% were confident they could deal with it.
United leader Peter Dunne, who has been trying to promote a private members’ bill to enforce year 2000 compliance, sent a letter to the 150 organisations asking them for an undertaking that they could supply their particular service, at the same level, after January 1, 2000.
“To state the year 2000 problem has been ignored or even given only slight attention would be unfair,” Dunne says. “However, due to the nature of this problem it is clear that unless all groups attend to this issue before it occurs, major difficulties will result for society.
“The initial problem is a lack of guarantee from most agencies. Of the responses, only 36% stated they could offer any solid guarantee of unimpaired service beyond the year 2000. This could result in a crisis.
“On the whole, most New Zealand companies are unprepared for this problem. Many state that in order to guarantee compliance, they must be assured compliance from their contractors and suppliers, and that this is a difficult task. Others suggest the problem is simply not solvable.”