on 2 August 1999
Legislative Council Information Technology
and Broadcasting Panel
Progress of Y2K compliance work within Government and in Purpose
non-government organisations funded or regulated by Government
This paper reports on -
Hong Kong's overall compliance position
- the latest position of Year 2000 compliance within Government as well as in non-government organisations (NGOs) which provide essential services;
- Government's plan on Y2K contingency planning; and
- publicity plans to prepare the public for a smooth and orderly transition to year 2000.
2. According to a recent study conducted by the Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group, which comprises representatives of some 500 institutions world-wide from the banking, securities and insurance sectors, Hong Kong is one of the four best prepared places amongst 48 economies in the world in terms of overall Y2K readiness. The assessment was made having regard to the compliance position of seven critical sectors, namely financial services institutions, clearing and settlement institutions, telecommunications services operators, public transport operators, energy supply, water supply and government in each economy.
Progress of compliance work within Government
3. For Government bureaux and departments, as at the end of June 1999, 99.7% of Government's mission-critical 1
computer and embedded systems are Y2K compliant 2
. For the remaining 0.3% which cannot be rectified by June 1999, the concerned Government departments have formulated contingency plans for each of these systems to ensure that services provided to the public will not be disrupted. In addition to system-based contingency plans, all Government bureaux/departments are required to put in place departmental Y2K business continuity plans by August 1999.
4. A breakdown of the Y2K compliance position of individual Government bureaux/departments is set out at the
.Progress of compliance work in NGOs providing essential services
5. The compliance positions of NGOs providing essential services to the public are set out in paragraphs 6 to 28 below.
6. Good progress has been made in the financial services sector to achieve Y2K compliance. In the banking industry, according to the provisional statistics provided by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, all the banking institutions under its supervision reported that they had completed modification and internal testing of all their mission-critical systems as at the end of June 1999. The interbank payment systems are all Y2K compliant. End-to-end testing between the interbank clearing house and its member banks was completed as early as November 1998.
7. In the securities and futures industry, according to the provisional figures provided by the Securities and Futures Commission, all members of the stock exchange and the futures exchange reported that they had completed modification and internal testing of all their mission-critical systems as at the end of June 1999. Three rounds of industry-wide testing were conducted in January, March and June 1999 respectively. Taken together, except for those being exempted 3
, all members of the stock and futures exchanges and the clearing houses had participated in the industry-wide tests, and basically no major Y2K-related exceptions were identified during such tests. In respect of the supervised firms which are not members of the two exchanges (e.g. financial advisors and investment analysts), about 80% of them were Y2K compliant at the end of May 1999. Basically all the outstanding firms are expected to achieve full compliance by the end of September 1999.
8. In the insurance industry, all the insurers and insurance brokers under the supervision of the Commissioner of Insurance were Y2K compliant at the end of June 1999.
9. To prevent, mitigate and contain possible disruptions induced by the Y2K problem, contingency plans at both institutional and sector-wide levels are being developed. At the institutional level, the Financial Services Bureau (FSB) expects the plans to be completed and tested before the end of August 1999. At the sector-wide level, FSB is co-ordinating, with the assistance of external consultants, a Y2K contingency plan for the financial services sector as a whole.
10. Both power companies (i.e. China Light and Power Co. Ltd. and The Hong Kong Electric Co. Ltd.) and the major gas supplier (i.e. Hong Kong & China Gas Co. Ltd.) have already achieved Y2K compliance.
11. The Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Co. Ltd. (HKNIC) reported that all the rectification work in the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station (GNPS) had been completed. HKNIC also reported that the operation of the nuclear safety protection functions in GNPS was not controlled by computer. They were activated by events rather than time, and so the Y2K problem could only affect plant availability, but not safety. The Y2K compliance programme of GNPS had also been reviewed and endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and that contingency plans have been drawn up.
12. As for the supply of water, the Water Supplies Department has completed the rectification work for all mission-critical systems in June 1999.
Transport and Aviation
13. The compliance positions of the major transport operators as at 30 June 1999 are set out below -
||Both MTRC and KCRC are already compliant.|
||KMB, Long Win, New World First Bus and New Lantao Bus are already compliant.|
Citybus, has completed 95% of the rectification work. It aims to achieve compliance by July 1999.
||Star Ferry and Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry are already complaint.|
The Hongkong &Yaumati Ferry has completed 95% of the rectification work and aims to achieve compliance in the third quarter of 1999.
||Peak Tramways is already compliant.|
Hong Kong Tramways has completed 99% of the rectification work and aims to achieve compliance in the third quarter of 1999.
||The main contractor of the Octopus system has confirmed that the system is Y2K compliant.|
14. The Transport Department has set up a task group to monitor the progress of Y2K compliance work and contingency planning in the sector. The Department will also activate the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre on 31 December 1999 to monitor the overall traffic conditions, and to co-ordinate the implementation of contingency measures by individual operators where necessary.
15. On aviation, the Airport Authority (AA) has completed the rectification work for 97% of its systems. The remaining systems will be rectified within the third quarter of 1999. As regards contingency planning, contingency measures have been developed and drills are being conducted. A comprehensive contingency plan will be finalised by the end of July 1999.
16. The Civil Aviation Department keeps track of the Y2K compliance status of the safety and security related systems of Hong Kong's key aviation related organisations including the Hong Kong-based airlines, helicopter operators and aircraft maintenance service agents. According to their reports, all their mission-critical systems had been tested and proved to be Y2K compliant by the end of June 1999. Contingency plans are being developed and will be completed by September 1999.
Telecommunications and Broadcasting
17. The compliance positions of the major telecommunications services providers as at 30 June 1999 are set out below -
|Cable & Wireless HKT, Hutchison and New T&T have achieved compliance.|
New World has completed 97% of the rectification work. The company aims to achieve compliance by August 1999.
|Mobile phone operators and radio paging operators
||Of the 11 mobile phone networks in Hong Kong, 10 are already compliant.|
The operator of the remaining network (Sunday) has completed 96% of the rectification work and aims to achieve compliance by August 1999.
For radio paging operators, 14 out of 18 operators have achieved compliance.
The remaining four operators have completed more than 75% of the rectification work. All of them aim to achieve compliance by the third quarter of 1999.
|Satellite network licensees||Asia Satellite has completed 88% of the rectification work; APT Satellite has completed 80% of the rectification work.|
Both licensees aim to achieve compliance by September 1999.
18. All the Y2K inter-network tests of emergency services (i.e. 999, 992 and 112 for communication with the Hong Kong Police Force) and inter-network tests of normal communications services have been successfully completed amongst all the four fixed and eleven mobile networks.
19. In respect of contingency planning, all the fixed and mobile network operators have already submitted their Y2K contingency plans to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA). OFTA is now assessing the adequacy of the contingency plans. In parallel, OFTA is preparing to establish a sector-wide Y2K emergency centre which will be activated on Y2K critical dates to manage and respond to Y2K-induced incidents in the telecommunications industry.
20. The compliance positions of television and radio broadcasting licensees as at 30 June 1999 are set out below -
|Amongst the six licensees, three of them (TVB, ATV and HKTVOD) have already achieved compliance. The remaining licensees (Hutchvision Hong Kong (Star TV), HKCTV and Galaxy) have completed between 85% to 95% of the rectification work and aim to achieve compliance by July/August 1999.|
|Commercial Radio has completed 95% of the rectification work and aims to achieve compliance in July 1999.|
Metro Broadcast has completed 98% of the rectification work and aims to achieve compliance by August 1999.
21. The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority is planning to set up a sector-wide Y2K emergency centre which will be activated on the Y2K critical dates to monitor and respond to Y2K-induced incidents in the sector.
Public Health Services
22. As at 30 June 1999, over 99% of all the mission-critical systems in the Hospital Authority (HA) are Y2K compliant. The upgrading work for the remaining non-compliant system will be completed by the end of September 1999.
23. As for contingency planning, the HA Head Office (HAHO) has formed a Contingency Planning Task Group to co-ordinate efforts in contingency planning in HA. At the hospital level, individual public hospitals have developed their operational contingency plans based on the framework of business contingency plan issued by HAHO.
24. In parallel, the Health and Welfare Bureau, in consultation with HA and Department of Health, is drawing up a sector-wide contingency plan covering both the public and private medical sectors.
25. For private hospitals and nursing homes, 13 out of the 14 affected organisations have achieved compliance. The remaining one aims to achieve compliance by August 1999. All 14 organisations have submitted their Y2K contingency plans to the Department of Health. The organisations are now refining their plans based on the comments provided by the Department of Health.
Social Welfare Services
26. The compliance positions of social welfare organisations as at 15 June 1999 are set out below -
|NGOs subvented by the Social Welfare Department (SWD)
||97% of the NGOs with mission-critical systems would achieve compliance by the end of June 1999. The remaining 3% expect to achieve compliance by the end of 1999.|
|NGOs regulated by SWD
||98% of the NGOs with mission-critical systems would achieve compliance by the end of June 1999. The remaining 2% expect to achieve compliance by the end of 1999.|
27. Only a few mission-critical systems have been identified in the NGOs. Except for the financial computer systems for which rectification work is required, all other mission-critical systems identified (including fire alarms and social welfare telephone hotlines) are Y2K compliant.
Tertiary educational institutions
28. The compliance positions of tertiary educational institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) as at 15 June 1999 are set out below -
Compliance Position of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
|City University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong University aim to achieve compliance by July 1999. The remaining three institutions, i.e. Lingnan College, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Institute of Education aim to achieve compliance by September 1999.|
As for the progress of compliance work, City University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Education and Hong Kong Polytechnic University have completed over 85% of the rectification work. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has completed 70% of the work. Hong Kong University has completed 50% and Lingnan College has completed 25% of the work.
29. To mitigate the impact of the Y2K problem on the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong, Government has, in co-operation with the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and various trade and industrial associations, taken the following steps to enhance awareness of the Y2K problem among the SMEs and provide practical assistance to them in resolving the problem -
- preparation and distribution of a "Year 2000 Date Problem Guidebook" to enhance understanding of the Y2K problem and to urge businesses to rectify the problem in a timely manner;
- setting up the "Y2K Service Centre" in the HKPC to provide Y2K-related consultancy services, technical advice and support to businesses at cost;
- setting up a "Y2K Helpline" in the HKPC to handle public enquiries on the subject;
- providing financial support to the HKPC to launch the "888 Bug-buster Programme", which provides practical assistance on a non-profit making basis in Y2K compliance assessment and identification of appropriate rectification solutions; and
- organisation of sector-wide and large-scale seminars and symposia to urge businesses to take early action to rectify their computer and embedded systems and to formulate Y2K contingency plans.
30. According to a recent survey conducted by the HKPC in June 1999, all the companies surveyed, mostly SMEs, are aware of the Y2K problem. About 65% of the companies indicated that they would be affected by the problem. 83% of those affected were taking action to tackle the problem, and over 55% would complete their rectification work by the first half of 1999.
31. The above results show a marked improvement compared to the results of the survey conducted in September 1998, which indicated that 33% of the companies affected by the Y2K problem had not yet taken any action to tackle the problem.
Territory-wide contingency planning
32. As mentioned above, apart from rectification work Government bureaux/departments and essential services providers have started formulating departmental/institutional business continuity plans to cope with any disruptions in, or excess demand for, the services they provide as a result of Y2K-induced failures. Where necessary, sector-wide contingency plans will be formulated to ensure continuity in the provision of essential services.
33. Taking into account the progress of Y2K compliance work in different sectors and the contingency plans formulated by Government bureaux and departments as well as essential services providers, the Working Group on Y2K Contingency Planning under the central Steering Committee on Year 2000 Compliance is formulating a territory-wide contingency plan in order to minimise the possible adverse impact of the Y2K problem. Structure of the territory-wide Y2K monitoring and quick response system will be presented to Members at the Panel meeting to be held on 2 August 1999.
34. Apart from rectification work and contingency planning, another focus of Government's work is publicity. As the new millennium draws nearer, we have intensified our Y2K publicity efforts to prepare the general public for a smooth and orderly transition to the new millennium. In particular, we need to -
- enhance public awareness of the Y2K compliance status of Government and essential service providers;
- enhance understanding among the general public of the impact of the Y2K problem and how they can prepare themselves for a smooth and orderly transition; and
- educate the businesses on the importance of Y2K contingency planning and ask them to take necessary precautionary action ahead of the critical Y2K dates.
To achieve the above objectives, a series of publicity and promotional programmes have been organised which are summarised in paragraphs 35 to 42 below.
Enhance transparency of Y2K compliance
35. To enhance the transparency of the compliance position of Government departments and essential services providers, we have been encouraging Government bureaux and departments as well as NGOs which provide essential services to disclose their compliance information through various means, such as setting up of Y2K web pages, distribution of leaflets or information notes.
36.As at the end of June 1999, 34 Government bureaux and departments 4
have already established a Y2K web-page to publish Y2K compliance information through the Internet. Some Government departments and NGOs such as the Housing Department, HA, HKMA, banks and electricity companies have issued leaflets or newsletters to publicise their Y2K compliance position.
37. In addition, the RTHK has produced a documentary television programme entitled "Beyond 2000" which was broadcast on local television channels in June and July 1999 to introduce the Y2K problem and the efforts made in essential services sectors in tackling the problem. To further disseminate the message, we have arranged with the Housing Department and SWD to show the programme in the shopping arcades of public housing estates, and in elderly homes and social services centres regularly.
38. We shall also organise a large-scale symposium in co-operation with HKPC on 18 August 1999 to publicise the latest compliance position of essential services sectors in Hong Kong and to introduce their work in contingency planning, thereby enhancing public confidence in the continuity of essential services.
Enhance public understanding of the impact of Y2K problem
39. In June 1999, we have published three Y2K Check-lists, i.e. the Check-list for Homes, the Check-list for Offices and Factories, and the Check-list for Building Services Installations to explain the likely impact of the Y2K problem in a home environment, an office/factory setting and on building services installations. As at the end of June 1999, over 1.3 million copies of the check-lists have been distributed to the public through various channels including all primary and secondary schools, trade and industry organisations, District Offices, and Government departments which have wide interface with the public.
40. We are also working closely with the Consumer Council to publish a series of Y2K articles in its "Choice" Magazine to enhance public understanding of the problem and related issues, such as the effect of the Y2K problem on household appliances and how to protect consumers' rights when dealing with the Y2K problem, etc.
Enhance awareness of the need for Y2K contingency planning
41. Y2K contingency planning is an important step in tackling the Y2K problem. To disseminate this message to businesses, in particular the SMEs in Hong Kong, HKPC has organised a series of industry-specific seminars on Y2K contingency planning from March to May 1999 to introduce to businesses the proper approach to tackle the Y2K problem. ITBB and HKPC will jointly organise a large scale seminar on Y2K contingency planning in late August 1999 to further disseminate the message.
42. In addition, in co-operation with HKPC, we have also drawn up a set of guidelines on Y2K contingency planning which are being distributed to SMEs through the trade and industry organisations.
43. In the run-up to 2000, we shall continue our efforts on the publicity front to prepare the whole community for a smooth and orderly transition to the new millennium.
Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau
Notes to Annex
- A Private Automatic Branch Exchange telephone system installed at the Headquarters of Architectural Services Department. Rectification work for the system has been completed in mid-July 1999.
- An Interactive Voice Response System located at the Central Health Education Unit of the Department of Health. Rectification work is expected to be completed in mid-August 1999.
- A Private Automatic Branch Exchange telephone system at the Headquarters of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. Rectification work has been completed in mid-July 1999.
- A Traffic Radio System of traffic police. Rectification has already been completed in early July 1999.
- A Private Automatic Branch Exchange telephone system and an Interactive Voice Response System of the Inland Revenue Department installed in the Revenue Tower. Replacement work for these two systems is targeted to be completed in end July/early August 1999.
- A Sail Schedule Display System of the Marine Department at China Ferry Terminal. Replacement work is expected to be completed by September 1999.
- A Computerized Booking System of the Regional Services Department. Replacement work is expected to be completed by October 1999.
- This figure includes the number of mission-critical systems in overseas Economic and Trade Offices under the Trade and Industry Bureau.
- Include the following systems -
- two Appointment Booking Systems. Rectification work will be completed by August 1999.
- four Toll Collection Systems in four Government tunnels. Rectification work for these four systems has been completed in mid-July 1999.
- a Toll Collection System in Tsing Ma Control Area - standalone PCs and CCTVs will be installed at each toll booths in October 1999 to perform the toll collection function.
- a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System of Lantao Links. Rectification work is expected to be completed in August 1999.
1. Mission-critical systems are those computer and embedded systems whose proper functioning is related to public health and safety, the provision of critical services to the public, or payment and revenue collection.
2. These systems include systems which are confirmed to be compliant, have been rectified, and systems which can be rectified by resetting the clock on or after 1 January 2000.
3. Exempted firms are those which are either regarded as inactive or do not use any computer in their operations.
4. These 34 Government bureaux and departments include Census and Statistics Department, Correctional Services Department, Customs and Excise Department, Education Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Financial Services Bureau, Fire Services Department, Government Laboratory, Highways Department, Home Affairs Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong Police Force, Immigration Department, Industry Department, Information Services Department, Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau, Information Technology Services Department, Inland Revenue Department, Intellectual Property Department, Land Registry, Marine Department, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Telecommunications Authority, Planning Department, Radio Television Hong Kong, Rating and Valuation Department, Social Welfare Department, Trade Department, Treasury, Urban Services Department, Water Supplies Department and Works Bureau.