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8152.0 - Year 2000 Problem, Australia, Oct 1998  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/1999   
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  • ABS confirms many enterprises unprepared for year 2000 (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

February 19, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
18/1999

ABS confirms many enterprises unprepared for year 2000

The final report of an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey shows that although there is a very high level of awareness of the Year 2000 problem among businesses in Australia (93%), just under 60% intend to, or have already taken action to address the Year 2000 problem in their business.

While most businesses plan to, or have already taken action to address the problem within their business, only one third have sought assurances from their suppliers, service providers or customers about their Year 2000 readiness. Even fewer (one fifth) have started to develop contingency plans.

Although the majority of businesses have indicated an intention to undertake Year 2000 preparations, almost half of these businesses had not commenced their Year 2000 work by October 1998. However, virtually all expect to complete the work before the end of 1999.

There were two main reasons why businesses did not intend to take action on the Year 2000 problem. Of those not intending to take action, well over half did not think their business would be affected by the Year 2000 problem, while over one third were either unsure of what action to take or were unaware of the problem.

The businesses which intend to, or have already taken action on the Year 2000 problem make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, employing 84% of private sector employees and contributing 90% of the total sales of goods and services. This high level of contribution results from the fact that the intention to undertake Year 2000 work is related to business size. For example, just over half of the micro businesses (1 to 4 employees) intend to take action on the Year 2000 problem compared to almost all the large businesses (200 or more employees).

Businesses have difficulty estimating the cost of their Year 2000 work. Well over one third of businesses which intend to, or which have already taken action on the Year 2000 problem could not provide an estimate of the likely cost of their Year 2000 work. Over half of the businesses estimated their costs would be less than $10,000.

The ABS survey was the most comprehensive of its type run in Australia, obtaining information from 8000 businesses from all industries and all sizes.

These results update figures previously released in Year 2000 Problem, Australia, Preliminary. The final results from the survey are now available in Year 2000 Problem, Australia, October 1998 (cat. no. 8152.0).

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