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73 % of Singapore SMEs will be Y2K ready further 19 % think they are unaffected according to NCB National Y2K Survey


The National Computer Board (NCB) today released findings from a national survey to assess the Y2K preparedness of Singapore's Small-and-Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The survey shows that 73 per cent of ...

The National Computer Board (NCB) today released findings from a national survey to assess the Y2K preparedness of Singapore's Small-and-Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The survey shows that 73 per cent of the SMEs will be Y2K-ready by the end of the year. Other findings from the survey conducted in February this year include:


Awareness of the Y2K problem among SMEs is very high at about 90 per cent.


- 73 per cent of the SMEs surveyed (or 467 companies) said they would complete their Y2K conversion programme before end of 1999. At the time of the survey, 35 per cent of SMEs had completed their conversion.
- Of the remaining 27 per cent (or 173 companies) who said they have no plans at all or who are not doing anything, a majority -- or 74 per cent -- think they are not affected.


Of all the SMEs surveyed, 77 per cent expressed high confidence their companies would be able to transit into year 2000 smoothly.

Contingency Plans:

Even with all readiness efforts, contingency planning is necessary. The survey indicates that 43 per cent of all the SMEs surveyed have developed contingency plans to deal with any glitches. Of those who have not, 70 per cent said they do not need to do so, 15 per cent will have one before the Year 2000, and 9 per cent have no knowledge.

Said Mr Michael Yap, Chief Executive, NCB: "The results are encouraging. It shows that efforts put in by the various government agencies and trade associations have contributed to instilling awareness and action among the SMEs in Singapore."

The NCB had taken steps to raise awareness and to instil a sense of urgency by sending out direct mail to 100,000 Singapore companies last month as well as in July 1998. To help affected companies implement a Y2K action plan, the NCB printed a Y2K Handbook outlining 10 key steps. Last year, it also worked with TCS to co-produce two current affairs programmes over Channels 5 and 8 that looked at the impact of the Y2K problem and the steps taken by businesses to deal with it. In September 1998, the NCB also introduced the Y2K-In-Action logo to recognise companies that are making serious efforts to resolve the Y2K problem.

Specifically for the SMEs, the NCB extended the Local Enterprise Computerisation Programme (LECP) in July 1997 to cover Y2K consultancy. Last year, the NCB set up a Y2K hotline (tel: 838-4483) and a directory to help SMEs locate Y2K consultants and tool providers on the Internet.

More than 40 seminars have been organised to create general awareness among SMEs while more would be organised this year to cover testing, contingency planning, legal matters and communication strategies.

Said Mr Yap: "Although the NCB National Y2K Survey indicates that awareness among SMEs is high, we will continue to push for Y2K action by collaborating with the various trade associations. We will monitor the progress, and for some SMEs that need help, we will continue to reach out to them."

Mr Yap added: "For companies which need help, we encourage them to call our hotline

and in particular, to make use of the LECP. This defrays 70 per cent of the consultancy costs for Y2K conversion, contingency planning, as well as systems and legal audit. The LECP provides good financial assistance especially for SMEs which need it".

The Y2K survey findings were released today in conjunction with the National Y2K Seminar organised by the NCB. The event is the first time that key infrastructure and service providers in Singapore have come together to share their Y2K plans and readiness. It also marks the start of efforts to co-ordinate information as well as raise public assurance about Singapore's readiness.

The Seminar held at the Suntec Convention Centre, was attended by 500 participants from government agencies as well as the telecommunications, transportation, utilities and healthcare industries. Included in the afternoon track of the seminar programme were presentations by five IT companies.

Issued by: Corporate Communication Department National Computer Board, Singapore

Press Quotations From Government Agencies

Mr Willie Tan
Deputy Secretary
Chairman of Ministry of Health Y2K Steering Committee

"The healthcare sector has initiated actions to address the Y2K problem as early as 1995. Affected IT (such as the Patient Registration System) and non-IT systems (such as medical equipment) were identified. The risk and impact analyses of these systems were conducted. For the public sector healthcare agencies which include the government and restructured hospitals and polyclinics, every effort is being made to ensure that problems with the affected systems are resolved. Integration testing with external systems has also been carried out. Business continuity and contingency plans to deal with the unforeseeable failures are also in place to ensure that the delivery of healthcare services are not compromised by the Y2K bug. For the private sector, the Ministry, in collaboration with the National Computer Board, has been organising awareness seminars since last year. The Medical Accreditation and Audit Unit of the MOH has also sent circulars to all the private healthcare establishments (such as clinics, laboratories and hospitals) to inform them of the Y2K problem and to advise them to take action to rectify the problem. The majority of the public and private healthcare agencies will complete the Y2K rectification of their critical systems by mid-1999.


Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore

(to be advised)

Ms Dulcie Chan
Corporate Communications Manager
Telecommunications Authority of Singapore

"As the regulator of the telecommunication industry, the TAS will protect the consumers and public interest by ensuring that the Public Telecommunication Operators in Singapore implement comprehensive Y2K programmes to ensure that their basic telecommunication network infrastructures are Y2K ready. Since 1997, the TAS has worked closely with the operators providing public telecommunication services to take early and appropriate steps to deal with the Y2K problem. The Public Telecommunication Operators' critical network systems are expected to be Y2K ready by end June 1999."

Captain Khong Shen Ping
Director - Port
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

"MPA systems have been rectified since March 1999. All the systems are being tested and will be Y2K ready by June 1999. MPA has placed precautionary measures and contingency plans for various scenarios. The contingency plans have also been exercised. These initiatives are formulated for navigational safety within the port waters and its approaches, as well as the smooth continuity of port operations."


Land Transport Authority

"We have embarked on a comprehensive programme to identify and test all systems for compliance and have adopted a strategy for both modifying and redeveloping existing systems to make them Y2K compliant. We have set 30 June 1999 as the conversion deadline for our systems. Over and above the active conversion exercise, LTA has put in place contingency plans for mission-critical systems to ensure minimal disruption to our services in the event of unforeseen circumstances."


Public Utilities Board

"The PUB's Y2K Programme is comprehensive and Y2K readiness was achieved by March 1999. The contingency plans for water supply operations have always been in place. Water supply will not be interrupted on the account of Y2K. Out of the five public electricity licensees, three reported that their critical systems are Y2K ready while two reported that their critical systems would be Y2K ready by July 1999. The public gas licensees reported that their critical systems are Y2K ready."