HC Deb 25 June 1998 vol 314 cc596-7W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has for a national contingency plan in the event of the failure of public and private sector computer systems to recognise the year 2000; and if he will make a statement. [45637]

The Prime Minister

[holding answer 15 June 1998]: The actions that the Government have taken to deal with the Year 2000 problem are designed to prevent such failures. The Government are, however, taking a number of actions to ensure the continued delivery of the supplies and services essential to the life of the community.

The Government are currently conducting a risk assessment study of the national infrastructure, including public and private elements, which will inform contingency planning. The Home Office is addressing how to use the established framework for dealing with emergencies in the context of the Year 2000 problem. The Civil Contingencies Committee will co-ordinate the central government response to any emergency caused by widespread system failure.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is reviewing progress within departments and agencies on a quarterly basis. He made an oral statement to the House on 8 June 1998, Official Report, columns 716–27 and published the latest revisions to Departments' action plans, which included information about their business continuity planning, together with an initial survey of the wider pubic sector including the NHS and Local Authorities. The information has been placed in the Library of the House and published on the Internet.