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Y2K Council Encourages Countries To Increase Sharing of Info


The Council on Year 2000 Conversion is encouraging countries and organizations to increase the sharing of information on the Y2K problem and to arrive at contingency plans should the problem remain unsolved when year 2000 comes.

John A. Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on year 2000 conversion in the United States, in his keynote speech at the 2nd Global Y2K Summit in Manila, said shared information should include test protocols and their results.

He said people with access to such information will know how the problem-solving is progressing as they move in the same process.

The 2nd Global Y2K Summit is being held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) up to March 3.

For instance, Koskinen said the United States is thinking about the Y2K millennium bug as a three-tier problem that involves the interface of all systems, creation of awareness and public update.

"There is a continuos campaign in the United States for all organizations of all sizes to take action, because many systems are not as complex as those in government," Koskinen said.

According to him, before the sharing of information was increased in the US, about one-third of small businesses around the country had "no plans to take action."

He added, "Smaller organizations were not aware of the problem."

He classified some of them as high-risk, meaning they might not be able to fix the Y2K problem on time, should they decide to apply last-minute solutions.

"They will find themselves lining up (for a solution) with a lot of people who chose to delay finding a solution like they did," Koskinen remarked.

By taking up the three-tier approach, he said, "a total of 79 percent of the (entire) federal system is now (Y2K) complete."

Likewise, the Philippine Presidential Commission on Year 2000 Compliance, chaired by Dr. Amablo R. Aguiliz V. is undertaking efforts to promote public awareness on the millennium bug.

Recently, Dr. Aguiliz visited Camarines Sur (Region V) and went on a three-part tour of Naga City as part of the Commission's information campaign on the Y2K bug.

A "National Y2K Contingency Plan" is also on the drawing board. It aims to provide fool-proof safety measures that would avert any Y2K-related crisis by the Year 2000.

On the original level, "large regions (in the US) appear to be making significant progress, and the government is starting to feel confident about reporting to the public," Koskinen said, adding that a vast majority of the 50 American states are doing well in tackling the Y2K bug.

He said the problem should be shared on a country-by-country basis and on a regional basis, and determine what work need to be done in the remaining six months before year 2000.

On the other hand, Koskinen said contingency plans are also encouraged "for the failure of others you rely on."

"The goal for the public," he explained, "is not to fall into a false sense of security," lest the 1973 gasoline shortage in the US happens again, after the "public decided that the problem is worse than it is."

In the final analysis, Koskinen said what consumers will want to know is, "can I get the product or services I depend upon?"

For its part, the Presidential Commission on Year 2000 Compliance is urging all manufacturers to start issuing a warranty assuring their customers that all their products with embedded chips and applications software are Y2K complaint. (PNA) DCT/LBV/iaa




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