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8152.0 - Year 2000 Problem, Australia, Jun 1999  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/10/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

October 27, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
126/1999

ABS reports "considerable progress" in year 2000 problem

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today that considerable progress in addressing the Year 2000 problem has been made by Australian business since October 1998.

An ABS survey showed that at the end of June 1999 over one third of all businesses reported that they had completed their Year 2000 work; this represents 61% of the businesses undertaking Year 2000 work. In comparison, only 17% of the businesses undertaking Year 2000 work had completed their work by the end of October 1998.

By the end of June 1999, 61% of all businesses had done an assessment of the likely effect of the Year 2000 problem. Approximately one third of these identified problems that might disrupt their operations. Over 90% of those businesses which identified problems reported that they were taking action on the Year 2000 problem. Over half of these found that their communications and accounting and inventory systems were the operations which might be affected.

At the end of June 1999, 44% of all businesses did not intend to undertake any Year 2000 work. Typically these were very small businesses with fewer than five employees and low levels of technology dependence. Of the businesses not intending to undertake any Year 2000 work, 86% reported that they had either no computers or only a single stand-alone computer. The majority of businesses that did not intend to undertake any Year 2000 work reported either that they did not have any technology that would be affected or they did not believe their business would be affected.

Of the businesses undertaking Year 2000 work, nearly all had started work by the end of June 1999. Virtually all businesses expected to complete their Year 2000 work by December 1999, and 43% had or were developing contingency plans to avoid possible disruptions caused by the Year 2000 problem. This proportion has risen from 25% in October 1998.

By the end of June 1999, just over half of those businesses undertaking Year 2000 work had already sought assurances from their suppliers or service providers regarding continuity of supply. By the end of October 1998, only one third of those businesses undertaking Year 2000 work had sought any assurances.

Australian business expects to spend around $10 billion to address the Year 2000 problem. Approximately 75% of this amount had been spent by June 1999.

Full details are in Year 2000 Problem, Australia, June 1999 (cat. no. 8152.0) available from ABS bookshops. The main features of this publication can be accessed on this website. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main features. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.

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