2 August 1999
Information Technology and Broadcasting Panel
Rectification of the Y2K Problem in Critical Systems and Equipment of Urban Services DepartmentPurpose
To report the latest progress of USD in rectifying the Y2K problem in its critical systems and equipment.
2. According to the guidelines of Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau (ITBB), USD has classified all critical systems and equipment into 3 categories:
- IT Systems
- Embedded Systems
- Line Communication Systems
3. In planning and implementing the rectification work of the Y2K problem, USD has strictly followed the guidelines of ITBB. In addition, guidelines issued by Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) were also adopted for the testing of IT systems. Evaluation, rectification and testing were all completed smoothly as scheduled in June 1999. Please refer to the Appendix
4. USD has also maintained close contact with ITBB, Information Technology Services Department (ITSD), Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) and Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA). Moreover, the progress of the rectification work has been regularly reported to the Provisional Urban Council.
5. The rectification work of the Y2K problem conducted by USD has been evaluated by ITSD and was rated as satisfactory.
6. The following paragraphs outline the progress of Y2K rectification work for critical systems and equipment in various areas in USD.
7. Irrespective of the Y2K compliance status as reported by vendors, USD has conducted a series of testings on IT systems. 11 out of its 18 critical IT systems that are not Y2K compliant have all been rectified or upgraded by June 1999.
8. The most important IT systems of USD include:
- Library Automation System;
- Urban Ticketing System for Cultural Programmes (URBTIX);
- Sports Facilities Booking and Ticketing System (SPORTIX); and
- Cemeteries and Crematoria Services Computer System.
The current position on Y2K rectification of these systems is as follows:
- As the contractor of the Library Automation System was unable to confirm whether the system was Y2K compliant, USD has conducted a thorough test on the system in August 1998. Except for some errors in the date format of some system reports used by the maintenance contractor, it was found that the system was in general Y2K compliant. To be cautious, a simulated Y2K-compliance test (Y2K Day) was performed on 1 July 1999, the test result of which was also found to be satisfactory.
Furthermore, to enhance the capacity and functions of the current system and to dovetail the commissioning of the Hong Kong Central Library, the Provisional Urban Council is currently conducting a tendering exercise with a view to procure a system that can cater for its needs in the coming 5 years. In this exercise, RSD has also participated.
- URBTIX has undergone a software upgrade by the supplier and an user acceptance test was conducted in March 1999. The upgraded system is now Y2K compliant. Several new functions were also added. In addition, USD has also scheduled a Y2K Day for the URBTIX from the evening of 9 August 1999 to the morning of 10 August 1999.
- The upgraded SPORTIX system was commissioned in June 1999. The system is now fully Y2K compliant, with its original system capacity and functions enhanced by 3 times.
- The Cemeteries and Crematoria Services Computer System was developed internally by USD. Vendors of the hardware and software system components have confirmed Y2K compliance for their products.
9. Embedded systems refer to electronic and mechanical systems and equipment that have embedded date handling devices. There are a lot of such systems and equipment eg. elevators in Provisional Urban Council complexes, turnstiles system in swimming pools, stage control systems and equipment of civic centres, etc. As at June 1999, 38 out of 282 critical systems and equipment which are not Y2K compliant have been rectified by the manufacturers or the maintenance contractors of EMSD. Furthermore, to ensure public safety and a prompt remedy for any system and equipment failure caused by the Y2K problem, USD has arranged with EMSD to deploy staff to station at major USD buildings on each critical date on a 24-hour basis. USD is also conducting further audit test on the critical embedded systems and equipment to verify the rectification work performed by external organizations. All audit tests are expected to be completed by August 1999.
Line Communication Systems
10. There are 21 critical line communication systems, including Private Automation Branch Exchange (PABX), Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVRS) and Key Telephone Systems (KTS). Amongst these, only one system required rectification and work was completed in June 1999. USD is presently arranging further audit tests for critical line communication systems and equipment to ensure the correctness of the rectification work. The audit tests are expected to be completed in August 1999.
11. All operational branches of USD, in conjuction with the IT Centre, are formulating contingency plans for all critical systems and equipment to avoid any possible impact on the Department's operation and services to the public which may be caused by the Y2K problem. For instance, hard copies of all ticketing information of URBTIX will be printed prior to the critical dates for use in manual operation in case of computer breakdown.
12. In addition to the above, USD has also undertaken the following actions:-
Departmental Working Groups and Supporting Services
- Where appropriate, terms and conditions on Y2K compliance have been included in tender documents to ensure that all new products and services to be procured are Y2K compliant.
- Questionnaires on Y2K compliance status have been sent out to USD's business partners (eg. banks) to ensure that their services to USD will not be affected by the Y2K problem.
- Letters have been sent to Provisional Urban Council's subvented organizations such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd. to enquire about their progress in tackling the Y2K problem. Technical assistance will also be provided if required. These organizations have replied that they have already made the necessary preparation.
- Information on USD's work in tackling the Y2K problem is disseminated to the public through the Internet.
13. USD attaches great importance to the Y2K problem. A central support team has been set up in the Information Technology Centre led by the Assistant Director (Information Technology) responsible for coordinating and supervising all Y2K-related work. Furthermore, each of the 4 branches of USD has its own Y2K task force to oversee the progress of Y2K rectification work within the branch. In addition, a 24-hour departmental support hotline has been set up to provide prompt response to enquiries and requests for assistance in regard the Y2K problem raised.
Urban Services Department
Progress of Y2K Rectification Work in regard USD's Critical Systems and Equipment
(Position as at 30 June 1999)
|Type of Critical Systems and Equipment
||Critical Computer Systems
||Critical Embedded Systems
||Critical Line Communication Systems
||Systems and equipment confirmed to be Y2K compliant by manufacturers and contractors / systems and equipment that will cease to be in operation before year 2000||5 (27.8%)|
||18 (85.7%) |
||Systems and equipment certified to be Y2K compliant after upgrading, rectification and testing||11 (61.1%) |
||1 (4.8%) |
||Systems and equipment which will be Y2K compliant after clock resets / systems and equipment which although suppliers have not confirmed to be Y2K compliant, have after detailed testing proved to be Y2K compliant||2 (11.1%) |
||18 (100.0%)||282 (100.0%)||21 (100.0%)
Note 1: Systems confirmed to be Y2K compliant by manufacturers or contractors / systems and equipment that will cease to be in operation after year 2000:
1. Cemeteries and Crematoria Services Computer System
2. PUC Chamber Conference and Voting System
3. PUC Secretariat Office Automation and Document Retrieval System
4. USD Office Automation and Document Retrieval System
5. Museum Pass System
Note 2: Systems certified to be Y2K compliant after upgrading, rectification and testing:
1. Urban Ticketing System for Cultural Programmes (URBTIX)
2. Sports Facilities Booking and Ticketing System (SPORTIX)
3. Box Office Management Information System (BOMIS)
4. Municipal Services Grades Management System
5. USD Hotline Computer System
6. Transport Management Information System
7. License / Permit System
8. Hawker License System
9. Market Stalls Rental System
10. Payment of Creditors System
11. Revenue Collection System
Note 3: Systems and equipment which will be Y2K compliant after clock resets / systems and equipment which although suppliers have not confirmed to be Y2K compliant, have after detailed testing proved to be Y2K compliant:
1. Library Automation System
2. PC Backup System for Library Automation System
Note 4: Telephone system in the former Hong Kong Museum of History (HKMH) which has ceased to be operated and replaced by a new one in the new HKMH.
Note 5: The interactive voice response system of USD hotline.