For information
on 19 October 1999

Paper for LegCo Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services

Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance exercise in Legal Aid Department


On 20 April 1999 the Panel was informed of the progress of the Legal Aid Department's (LAD) Y2K compliance exercise. This paper is to update Members on the latest development.

Position of Y2K Rectification Work

2. There are 19 mission critical systems under the administration of the department, including 12 computer systems, 4 embedded systems and 3 telephone systems. Of these 11 were non-Y2K compliant but rectification work on these systems have been completed by the end of June 1999.

Impact Analysis

3. The department has conducted an impact analysis on its public service in the event of a breakdown of its mission critical systems during the roll-over to year 2000. As most information stored in the computer systems are currently available in hard copies, the department envisages that it will be able to continue to provide service to the public even if these mission critical systems fail to run properly. However, a contingency plan has been prepared in order to minimise the possible adverse impact of the Y2K problem and the degree of disruption.

Contingency Plan

4. The contingency actions under the plan can be classified into the following 3 levels :-

  1. restoring the data and system backup if the hardware can still operate;

  2. if the network systems cannot operate, the department is still able to retrieve essential data in the network systems which has been downloaded to personal computers before roll-over to year 2000. The other work will be processed manually; and

  3. using a complete manual system if all computer systems including standalone personal computers fail.

5. The contingency plan involves preparation work on or before 31 December 1999. They include data and system backup, downloading essential data from the network systems to standalone personal computers, printing out essential information such as bring-up dates or deadlines, and drawing up a duty roster, etc. To maintain communication in the event of breakdown of departmental telephone systems, mobile phones will be allocated to sections and the numbers of direct lines will be promulgated.

6. Staff responsible for the mission critical systems, together with staff of the Information Technology Services Department and system contractors, will conduct "wellness check" for all mission-critical systems in LAD on 1 January 2000. In case of system failure, rectification work will commence immediately. If the faults cannot be rectified before 3 January 2000 (the first working day of year 2000), appropriate contingency actions will be carried out.

7. The department has tested the contingency plan in early August 1999 and the results were found satisfactory.

8. A Y2K Monitoring Committee has been set up in the department. It is chaired by a Deputy Director (D3) to oversee the preparation of the contingency plan, and to co-ordinate contingency actions in case of system failures.

Legal Aid Department
File Ref. : LA/ADM/115/54 Pt.3
Date : 13 October 1999