Parliament - Technology: Millennium bug unit on alert over New Year

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The Independent Online
A SPECIAL government unit will be set up to deal with any emergencies caused by the millennium bug over the New Year period, it was announced yesterday.

Margaret Beckett, the Leader of the Commons, said the Millennium Centre would receive information from government departments about "any significant problems" and provide information about the emerging situation.

Mrs Beckett stressed that all departments had been given the all-clear for the millennium, although she added that IT systems were kept under review.

In a Commons statement, she warned that the Government could "not be confident" that there would not be problems caused by other countries because there was "less information" about them. Although the possibility of failures remained, action had been taken to "assess and minimise" any potential impact on Britain.

Mrs Beckett said the Millennium Centre, which will be staffed by 200 people, would have links with similar centres in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and provide a website from 31 December with the latest developments.