Litigation threatens to poison Y2K work

Disturbing revelations have surfaced regarding the threat of litigation to the Y2K efforts of Australian industry with lawyers being blamed for fostering a culture of fear within the local business community. Graeme Inchley, chief executive officer of the federal government's Year 2000 Industry Program, said certain industry sectors are experiencing great difficulty gaining information about the millennium compliance status of their business partners and suppliers.

It is information widely recognised as crucial to any organisation's attempts to protect itself from the millennium bug.

However, lawyers are increasingly advising their clients against disclosing Y2K-related information for fear of courtroom reprisals, Inchley said. He said that this situation is emerging as a significant impediment to the spirit of cooperation which is so essential to the success of Y2K projects, and which has been free to flourish in Australia until now.

Inchley refused to specify in which industry sectors the problem is most pronounced but said that it was brought to his attention only a few weeks ago when a number of companies contacted his department to express their dismay.

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