For information
on 10 May 1999

Legislative Council Home Affairs Panel

Year 2000 Compliance within the Home Affairs Bureau and in related departments and Non-Government Organisations


This paper informs the Panel of the latest position of Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance within the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), departments within its purview and related non-government organisations (NGOs) that provide essential services.

2. The organisations covered in this paper operate discrete systems that are not interlinked. Each has its own programme for achieving compliance. The Bureau's role is to monitor their progress towards that goal. It does not dictate strategies or direct departments and NGOs on the implementation of their programmes.

The Home Affairs Bureau

3. HAB has no mission critical 1 computer or embedded systems. Our building services, telephone and fax facilities are all compliant.


4. The Home Affairs Department (HAD) is under HAB's direct purview. Additionally, HAB is 'housekeeping' bureau for the Information Services Department (ISD), though it does not direct that department's policies. Their Y2K progress is explained in paragraphs 5 to 6 below.

Home Affairs Department

5. The Department has no mission-critical computer systems. It has 94 embedded systems (utilities, telephones, and so forth) that are considered to be critical. Only one - the telephone system at Tai Po Government Offices - was found to be non-compliant. Rectification work is expected to be completed in May 1999. The Department's Y2K Co-ordination Committee oversees progress.

Information Services Department

6. Three of ISD's six mission critical systems were found to be non-compliant. These were the Government News Information System, the News Services Support System, and the Interactive Voice Response System. A Project Steering Committee monitors the rectification work which is scheduled for completion by end-May 1999. As at end-April, 70% of the task - including development work and integration testing - was complete.

NGOs providing essential services

7. None of the NGOs within HAB's purview provide services that are essential in the strictest sense of the term. That is, the public would suffer no adverse consequences in terms of life, health, or livelihood were they to cease operating. However, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data perform functions that are essential to the promotion of equal opportunities and the right to privacy.2 The following paragraphs describe their progress in regard to Y2K compliance.

Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)

8. Two of the EOC's systems were found to be non-compliant. These were -

  1. the telephone voice mail system: this was upgraded in February and is now fully compliant. The EOC is carefully monitoring its performance; and

  2. the EOC's LAN: the server is non-compatible. Remedial work started in December 1998 and is expected to be completed in August 1999.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCO)

9. The PCO's computer system comprises two hardware components - the Office Automation System (OAS) and the telephone hotline system. Both systems were found to be Y2K non-compliant. Following an independent assessment report prepared by the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), all Y2K non-compliant hardware and software systems were upgraded or replaced in January 1999. The HKPC is now testing the PCO's Complaint Handling System - which is the most important for the PCO's operations - and formulating a contingency plan. Both tasks are expected to be completed by the end of May 1999.

Home Affairs Bureau
30 April 1999


1. Critical systems are those whose proper functioning is related to public health and safety, the provision of critical services to the public or the payment and revenue collection.

2. Other organisations under HAB's purview provide services that, while of value, cannot be considered essential. They are the Outward Bound School, the Academy for Performing Arts, the Arts Development Council, and the Sports Development Council.