Year 2000 bug still a problem for MoD and banks

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The Independent Online

The Ministry of Defence, the Office for National Statistics and some banks and financial institutions are still unfit for the millennium bug, the Government said yesterday.

The Ministry of Defence, the Office for National Statistics and some banks and financial institutions are still unfit for the millennium bug, the Government said yesterday.

In a statement to the Commons, Margaret Beckett, the Leader of the House, said that 99 per cent of key public and private sector bodies were ready for the date change.

But the MoD and a handful of other sectors were still lagging behind in their preparations and they were expected to be fully compliant only by late November or even December.

Although all nuclear and frontline defence capabilities were ready, some supply and administrative sections still had not completed testing of emergency contingency plans.

While most banks and financial institutions are now ready also, seven of them are still rated at "amber" risk of disruption to their services on December 31. Mrs Beckett did confirm that police forces, fire brigades and NHS organisations were finally rated free of the risk of being disrupted by the bug.

Computers in other vital national services including water, electricity and telecommunications had also been rated "blue", Mrs Beckett announced. Councils, which had been told to improve their performance, were now 100 per cent compliant.

More than 99 per cent of the Government's most important computer systems have attained the blue rating, signifying that they were free of the risk of "material disruption", she assured MPs. Register Offices in England and Wales were not quite prepared for the date change because of a delay in installing the correct software at the ONS, she disclosed.

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