on 3 May 1999
Trade and Industry Panel
Year 2000 compliance in Government and non-government
organizations funded or regulated by Government under the purview
of the Trade and Industry Bureau
This paper reports on --
Progress in TIB, HKETOs and Departments under TIB*s purview
- the latest position of year 2000 compliance and the development of contingency plans in the Trade and Industry Bureau (TIB), Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) overseas, and Departments and non-government organizations (NGOs) under the purview of TIB; and
- the initiatives to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to address the Y2K problem.
2. There are 115 mission-critical systems in TIB, HKETOs overseas and the four Departments under the purview of TIB (Trade Department (TD), Industry Department (ID), Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), Intellectual Property Department (IPD)). The position of Y2K compliance in TIB, HKETOs overseas and the four Departments is shown at Annex I. As at 15 April 1999, 110 (96%) of the mission-critical systems have been confirmed to be Y2K compliant or have been rectified. For the remaining five (4%) mission-critical systems which have not yet been confirmed as fully compliant, two are trade-related Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) computer systems. One is the Restrained Textile Export Licence (RTEL) system which serves TD to receive applications for RTELs and to issue RTELs, another is the Trade Declaration (TDEC) system which serves C&ED and the Census and Statistics Department (CSD) to accept TDECs lodged electronically by traders. These two systems, as well as the corresponding ones in the Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited (Tradelink), have already been individually tested and rectified to be Y2K compliant. Joint tests for all the EDI-related systems are being performed and will be completed by May 1999. Upon the satisfactory completion of such joint testing, these EDI-related systems will be confirmed to be fully Y2K-compliant. Irrespective of the results of the joint tests for the EDI-related systems, TD (in respect of RTEL) and CSD (in respect of TDEC) are working out the contingency plans in conjunction with other parties concerned. It is anticipated that the plans will be finalized around June 1999.
3. The remaining three non-compliant systems are line communication systems (including one Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) in C&ED and two Private Automatic Branch Exchanges (PABX) in the HKETOs in Brussels and Washington). Rectification work is scheduled to be completed by June 1999. In the unlikely event that these systems become inoperable for any reasons, direct telephone lines, fax transmissions, E-mail communications and / or mobile phone services will be used as a fallback.
Progress in NGOs under TIB's Purview
4. There are seven NGOs under the purview of TIB: the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC), Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation (HKIEC), Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation (HKITCC), Consumer Council (CC) and Tradelink. There are 30 mission-critical systems in these seven NGOs. As at 15 April 1999, 28 (93%) of these systems have been confirmed to be Y2K compliant or have been rectified. The position of Y2K compliance in the seven NGOs is shown at Annex II.
5. The two mission-critical systems which have not been confirmed to be fully compliant pending the results of joint testing of all EDI-related systems are in Tradelink. They correspond to the RTEL and TDEC systems in TD, C&ED and CSD (para. 2 above). As their counterparts in the Departments, the two systems in Tradelink have already been individually tested and rectified to be Y2K compliant. Joint tests for all the EDI-related systems are being performed and will be completed by May 1999. Upon the satisfactory completion of such joint testing, these EDI systems will be confirmed to be fully Y2K compliant.
6. Of the six NGOs that have mission-critical systems, HKPC, CC and HKECIC have respectively developed contingency plans, while HKTDC, HKITCC and Tradelink will finalise theirs by June 1999.
Initiatives to assist SMEs to address the Y2K problem
7. The Government, chiefly the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau (ITBB), has been organizing extensive publicity activities and providing practical assistance to all businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to tackle the Y2K problem since April 1997.
8. Funding has been made available under the Industrial Support Fund for HKPC to assist SMEs in tackling the Y2K problem. The activities include:
- production of a *Year 2000 Date Problem Guidebook*;
- establishment of a *Y2K Service Centre*;
- setting up of a *Y2K Helpline*;
- launching of the *888 Bug-buster Programme* that provides consultancy service on a non-profit making basis; and
- organization of large-scale seminars and symposiums.
ID has further granted $5.6 million to the Hong Kong Computer Society for the production of VCDs on the Y2K problem and a TV series.
9. The initiatives mentioned above have raised the awareness of the business sector of the Y2K issue, as evidenced in the two surveys conducted by HKPC in early 1997 and September 1998. The 1998 survey, covering 3 065 businesses, shows that over 98% of companies, mostly SMEs, are aware of the Y2K problem, as compared with only 61% in 1997. About 57% of the companies are affected by the problem, among which two-thirds are taking action to tackle it. Amongst those who have plans to solve the problem, 75% plan to complete the work by the second quarter of 1999.
10. In the final run-up to 2000, the Government will emphasize the need for contingency planning to minimize possible disruption to businesses. In this regard, ITBB will seek HKPC's assistance in drawing up guidelines on Y2K contingency planning for distribution to SMEs and in organising sector-specific seminars to address this subject. In cooperation with HKPC, it will conduct a third round of survey in mid-1999 to assess the latest progress of Y2K compliance of the business sector. ITBB is also considering ways to enhance the transparency of Y2K compliance of essential services providers in order to allay the concerns of businesses about any possible disruptions.
11. On the part of HKTDC, it has organised, in collaboration with HKPC or major computer companies/service providers, many talks and seminars on Y2K-related subjects for SMEs. In particular, in November to December 1998, HKTDC launched a four-week activity programme on IT which covered the Y2K issue. Some 1 600 people, predominantly owners and employees of SMEs, participated in the seminars, advisory services, software demonstrations and hands-on sessions. Currently, HKTDC's Business InfoCentre and SME Centre provide regular information services to SMEs on Y2K-related issues.
12. CC has written to large suppliers of household appliances to urge them to put in place an action plan to tackle the Y2K problem. In collaboration with ITBB, it has launched a comprehensive education programme on Y2K. Under the programme, a series of articles on the topics will be published in the CHOICE magazine.
13. ECIC has also written to its policyholders, which are mainly SMEs, to impress upon them the need to ensure their systems are Y2K compliant, as well as the need to ensure that the systems of their buyers are also Y2K compliant.
Trade and Industry Bureau
Y2K Compliance Position of Mission-critical Systems
in TIB, HKETOs Overseas, and Departments under the Purview of TIB
(as at 15 April 1999)
|Office||No. of compliant systems||No. of non-compliant systems||Total
|Trade and Industry Bureau||1 (100%)|| 0 (0%)||1
|Economic and Trade Offices||16 (89%)||2 (11%)||18
|Trade Department||30 (97%)||1(Note 2)(3%)||31
|Industry Department||1 (100%)||0 (0%)||1
|Intellectual Property Department||8 (100%)||0 (0%)||8
|Customs & Excise Department||54 (96%)||2(Note 3)(4%)||56
|Total : ||110 (96%)||5 (4%)||115
Y2K Compliance Position of Mission-critical Systems
in the NGOs under the purview of TIB
(as at 15 April 1999)
|NGO||No. of compliant systems||No. of non-compliant systems||Total
|Hong Kong Trade Development Council||9 (100%)||0 (0%)||9
|Hong Kong Export and Credit Insurance Corporation||11 (100%)|| 0 (0%)||11
|Hong Kong Productivity Council||2 (100%)||0 (0%)||2
|Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation||0 -||0 -||0
|Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation|| 2 (100%) ||0 (0%)||2
|Consumer Council||4 (100%)||0 (0%)||4
|Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited||0 (0%)||2(Note)(100%)||2
|Total : ||28 (93%)||2 (7%)|| 30
Note: The two systems are the Restrained Textile Export Licence (RTEL) system and the Trade Declaration (TDEC) system under the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The RTEL and TDEC systems in Tradelink, like the corresponding systems in the Trade Department, Customs and Excise Department and Census and Statistics Departments, have been individually tested and rectified to be Y2K compliant. Joint tests for all EDI-related systems are being carried out and will be completed by May 1999.
Note 2 The EDI system for Restrained Textile Export Licence (RTEL) in the Trade Department has been individually tested and rectified to be Y2K compliant. Joint tests for all EDI-related systems operated by TD and the corresponding systems in Tradelink are being carried out and will be completed by May 1999.
Note 3 One of the non-compliant systems is the EDI system for Trade Declaration (TDEC), which is jointly operated by the Customs and Excise Department and the Census and Statistics Department. The system has been individually tested and rectified to be Y2K compliant. Joint tests for all EDI-related systems operated by C&ED, CSD and the corresponding systems in Tradelink are being carried out and will be completed by May 1999.