Y2k Bill Passed In Record Time

  • Maurice Williamson

Legislation encouraging organisations to share their knowledge of Y2K issues was passed last night with the support of every political party in the House.

The Year 2000 Information Disclosure Bill was steered through the committee of the whole house stage and through the third reading all in the one sitting by acting Information Technology Minister John Luxton.

Minister responsible for Y2K Maurice Williamson, who is in Adelaide at a meeting of the Australian Transport Committee, was delighted the Bill had been passed.

"Now organisations can get on and disclose information about their Y2K preparedness to the benefit of others, without fear of legal liability," Mr Williamson said.

"With the passing of the Bill, we are encouraging the free flow of information to alleviate potential problems."

Mr Williamson, who introduced the legislation on March 23, said the Bill was similar to legislation recently passed in Australia, which has become commonly known as Good Samaritan Legislation.

The United States is the only other country to have passed such legislation.

The Act, which will come into effect on May 15, includes a number of safeguards to prevent recklessly false or misleading statements being made that affect consumer rights.

The legislation is the latest Y2K initiative undertaken by the Government, which began tackling the problem in 1996.

The formation of the Y2K Readiness Commission and the recent Local Government Summit on Y2K are two such examples and perhaps why Microsoft Y2K policy chief Richard Kaplan was recently reported as saying the New Zealand Government's Y2K readiness campaign was a world leader.