For information
on 20 April 1999

Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services
of the Legislative Council

Progress of Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance exercise
in the Legal Aid Department

This paper is to report on the progress of Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance exercise in the Legal Aid Department.

Impact on the Legal Aid Department

2. The Department recognises the importance of rectifying the Y2K problem in time in order to ensure that its services to the public will not be adversely affected. With the assistance of the Information Technology Services Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Office of the Telecommunication Authority, an inventory checking on the Y2K compliance of the computer systems, electrical and mechanical systems, telecommunication equipment and standalone personal computers in the Department has been made since 1997.

3. It was found that of the 19 mission critical systems under the administration of the Department, 11 (58%) were non-Y2K compliant. They included 8 computer systems, 2 embedded systems and a line communication system.

Rectification Work

4. The Y2K compliance activities for the Legal Aid Department have been making good progress. Rectification work for non-Y2K compliant systems, including hardware and software replacement, programme modification and user acceptance tests, has commenced since mid-1998.

5. All critical systems except one have been turned into Y2K compliant as at 15 April 1999. The outstanding system is the Department's telephone enquiry hotline. It is anticipated that the rectification project will be completed in June 1999. In case it cannot be completed on schedule, the hotline can be switched to telephone operators to handle enquiries.

6. Overall speaking, 95% of the mission critical systems in the Department are now in Y2K compliance.

Contingency Plan

7. Notwithstanding the good progress of the Y2K rectification work in the Legal Aid Department, the Department is working out a contingency plan to minimise any possible disruption to its service in the event of an unforeseen breakdown of its mission critical systems.

Legal Aid Department
April 1999