HC Deb 15 July 1997 vol 298 c135W
Mr. Cotter

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to assist small businesses which are adversely affected by(a) Government departments and (b) others failing ensure that their computer systems are millennium compliant. [5165]

Mrs. Roche

Within Government itself, Departments and Agencies are responsible for their own systems. The Central IT Unit, through its agency the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) is supporting the public sector with a range of specific activities, including the publication of extensive guidance by CCTA. As part of that support, CITU and CCTA have identified a programme of action to ensure that Government's response to the year 2000 problem is co-ordinated and coherent. This involves each department is producing a detailed and costed plan by October to ensure that all their systems are modified and tested by January 1999.

Each private sector organisation is responsible for its own systems. The DTI is working closely with Taskforce 2000 to alert all businesses to the problem and encourage action.

If, despite these efforts, a computer failure in one organisation adversely affects another party, the normal legal remedies will be available.

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