Public Release Spurs Y2k Performance, Says Williamson

  • Maurice Williamson
Y2K

Public release of a report on the readiness of key Government agencies to cope with Y2K issues will act as a powerful incentive for those lagging to improve their act, said Associate Minister of State Services and Minister for Information Technology, Maurice Williamson today. Mr Williamson was commenting on a report to Government from the State Service Commission's Y2K project office which shows how prepared departments and agencies were late in 1998 to manage the Year 2000 problem.

The report is just one of the measures in the Government's ongoing strategy to manage problems arising from the changeover to the Year 2000.

"This report is an early warning system for Government and the public. It shows where the areas of concern are, what measures have been taken and where efforts need to be concentrated.

"Our first priority is to the public who want to be informed and know they can have confidence in publicly provided services when we move into the new millennium.

"While most Government agencies were well advanced in their preparations, others still had much work in front of them."

The assessments in the report were based on information gathered in late 1998 and most agencies would have made significant further progress since then, Mr Williamson said.

"This is the first check up on departments progress on Y2K readiness. This is the first in a number of regular reports that Government will release so the public can see progress for themselves. "This report is a consistent benchmark for government and the public to measure progress against.

"While I am pleased the report has identified areas for improvement, overall progress to date gives me confidence that the state sector has taken on board this Government's commitment to this critical issue. "Careful monitoring of Y2K readiness in the state sector will continue in the interests of New Zealanders. Ministers will be reminding chief executives and boards of the need for continued vigilance and to reallocate their resources to this critical priority," he said.

Mr Williamson said that he hoped the Government's example in releasing its own report would encourage private sector organisations to do the same.

The New Zealand public has a right to know what's going on, not just in the Government sector, but right across New Zealand, said Mr Williamson.

In the past two weeks, the Government's Y2K Readiness Commission has launched its campaign to raise Y2K readiness among New Zealand's 240,000 strong small business sector. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has also issued Y2K compliance guidelines for consumers who own, or are intending to buy, household appliances that contain computer technology.

"In March and April, the Y2K Readiness Commission will be taking the message to businesspeople and local government chief executives attending a Y2K summit in Wellington at the end of March.

"When it comes to Y2K, there are no alternatives. We have one opportunity to get it right, we know the deadline and the Government is determined to see it is met so that the public of New Zealand can have confidence in the services provided by Government that they depend on," Mr Williamson said.

CONTACTS & INFORMATION:

The report will be available on the Y2K Readiness Commission website at www.Y2K.govt.nz.