Y2k Legislation Comes Into Force

  • Maurice Williamson

New legislation to tackle the Y2K problem comes into force tomorrow after being passed two weeks ago with the support of every political party in the House, Minister responsible for Y2K Maurice Williamson announced today.

The Year 2000 Information Disclosure Bill, commonly known as Good Samaritan legislation, was introduced by Mr Williamson on March 23 and passed on April 29.

"It allows organisations to disclose information about their preparedness for Y2K without fear that the information could later be used against them if found to be incorrect," said Mr Williamson.

"Some organisations have failed to disclose such information for fear of legal liability, but we believe it's important to have it available to others so they can adequately prepare themselves," said Mr Williamson.

He said the legislation was another avenue the Government had used to encourage the free flow of information.

"It does have safeguards built in to prevent recklessly false or misleading statements being made that affect consumer or contractual rights," said Mr Williamson.

The Government has undertaken a number of initiatives to attack the Y2K problem, including the formation of the Y2K Readiness Commission, the provision of help to small to medium businesses, the recent Local Government Summit on Y2K and now a significant change in legislation.