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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4951 ..




Year 2000 Computer Problems

Mr Wood - asked the Minister for Urban Services:

(1) What steps are being taken in each ACT Government agency to ensure that all computer systems are being modified so that they continue to operate properly after 1 January 2000.

(2) In each agency

(a) what is the estimated cost of the modifications and

(b) will they be carried out in house or by other sources.

(3) Will all systems be modified by 1 January 2000.

Mr De Domenico - the answer to the Member's question is as follows:

(1) The Year 2000 date problem is primarily about the past practice of keeping only two digits to represent the year (eg. `96') within date fields held and manipulated by computers which, when handling the year 2000, will cause errors because the last two digits become `00'. eg. calculating age 00 - 46 = -46 instead of 54.

Operation of business systems and electronic equipment ranging from revenue collection systems and hospital admission systems to traffic light and building control systems and, of course, to computing and communications equipment, may be affected. At this stage it is not possible to know the full extent of the problem and the likely cost of correction in the ACT Public Service. However steps are being taken.

A Working Party was established in October this year, with representatives from all Departments, Actew and the CIT Year 2000 training unit to advance the issue on a "whole of Government" basis. The Working Party is coordinated by the Information Management and Technology Policy Unit of InTACT.

A common strategy to address the problem has been agreed which includes:

. Initiation of an awareness program across the ACT Public ServiceACTPS);

. Compilation of an inventory of all computer systems and facilities;

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