Headlines: September 22nd, 1998

New survey material seems to challenge recent criticism of local government for its poor performance in beating the so-called Millennium Bug.The Government’s recent quarterly report on the problem, backed with information from the Audit Commission, compared local government’s progress poorly to that of other public sectors.

SOCITM, the Society for IT Managers in local authorities, says its own surveying offers a more accurate reflection of the readiness of councils to tackle the century date change, which promises to confuse some computers and other equipment driven by computers.

It also claims that compared to either central government or the Health Service, local government is investing more. It says that across all councils, L260m has been set aside to ensure Millennium compliance.

SOCITM has just surveyed IT managers, and although full data will not be available until December, it includes an assessment by IT Managers of how well their authorities are progressing with Year 2000.

This indicates that while Year 2000 is considered to be a major issue in 95% of authorities, all but one are working on the problem and 97% are working on the particularly thorny embedded processor problem.

The IT Managers answering the survey are “very” or “fairly” confident of completing the work on mission critical central IT systems on time in 97.5% of cases.