NSW govt moves to monthly Y2K updates

Despite running more than 20 per cent behind in its schedule in July this year the NSW Rural Fire Service is back on track to finish its year 2000 contingency planning by the October deadline.

A status report released last week on the year 2000 readiness of 106 NSW departments and agencies, covering the period from April to June 1999, showed the NSW Rural Fire Service had completed only 40 per cent of its contingency plans. This was more than 20 per cent behind schedule.

Mark Swayn, year 2000 compliance manager for NSW Rural Fire, said the agency has doubled its performance since then to 80 per cent of completion.

Swayn said work associated with the Sydney hailstorm in April, and the Newcastle chicken disease outbreak had delayed year 2000 work for NSW Rural Fire.

"But we're catching up and we will be ready for the critical Y2K period," Swayn said.

He said year 2000 readiness at the agency is 95 per cent complete and that work is finished on the risk analysis of business processes.

According to the July status report, most NSW government agencies and departments are on track to complete year 2000 remediation projects by the October 15 deadline. In July, around 45 per cent had already completed readiness projects and 80 per cent had completed contingency plans.

A handful of departments and agencies, including the Rural Fire Service, and the Olympic Co-ordination Authority (OCA) were behind schedule at the time of the report but have since improved work.

OCA is now 95 per cent complete in terms of contingency planning and estimates between 90 and 95 per cent of its readiness project is complete, a spokesperson said.

At the time of the status report, OCA, which is responsible for co-ordinating all NSW government activities related to the Olympics as well as the redevelopment of Homebush Bay and delivery of sporting facilities and venues, had completed only 60 per cent of its contingency plans and 80 per cent of its readiness plan.

The delays in the contingency planning were related to the changing role of OCA and internal auditing of all contingency plans for the organisation, the spokesperson said.

"We were moving from a development organisation to an operational organisation," he said.

Departments and agencies now have to report monthly on year 2000 readiness, government officials said.

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