Information Paper for
LegCo Panel on Housing

Year 2000 compliance in Government and Non-Government organisations funded or regulated by Government under the purview of the Housing Bureau

This paper reports the current progress in addressing the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem in Housing Bureau, Housing Authority (HA), Housing Department (HD) and non-government organisations (NGOs) under the Bureau's purview.


2. Housing Bureau has accorded high priority to address the Y2K issue both within the Bureau and department/NGOs under its purview. A directorate officer has been nominated as the Y2K Co-ordinator to serve as a link between Housing Bureau and the Central Steering Committee on Year 2000 Compliance. He liaises closely with the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau, the Housing Authority (HA) and Housing Department (HD), the Housing Society (HS) and the Estate Agents Authority (EAA) on the following issues -

  1. Y2K rectification work;

  2. Y2K business contingency plan(s), as necessary;

  3. PR strategy for communicating to the public Y2K-related information and;

  4. operational co-ordination over the Y2K critical dates.

3. There is no mission-critical computer system1 operating in Housing Bureau.

Progress of Y2K compliance work in HA/HD

4. A Steering Committee headed by the Director Corporate Services and comprising our four Business Directors, Finance Director and Head, Corproate Strategy Unit, is responsible for overseeing the overall progress of Year 2000 compliance in HA/HD. The Committee reports to the Director of Housing and meets monthly to monitor progress of work on the Year 2000 Compliance Programme. In addition to submitting monthly reports to the Government, reports are submitted to HA's Finance Committee. The Compliance Programme is being closely monitored to ensure proper compliance of all computer and embedded systems. The target is to complete rectification for all mission-critical systems2 by June 1999.

5. The Y2K compliance position of HA and HD as of 15 March 1999 is summarised below:-

    Computer systems

    There are a total of 65 mission-critical computer systems. 50 of them have been checked/rectified. Work on the remaining systems will be completed by June 1999.

    Embedded Systems

    There are a total of 998 mission-critical embedded systems3 identified in the existing premises. 988 of them have been checked/rectified. HA/HD's target is to complete the work for the remaining mission-critical systems by June this year. In addition, HA/HD will ensure all embedded systems in newly constructed estates are compliant before in-take of residents.

    Line Communication Systems

    There are a total of 247 line communication systems in HA/HD out of which 246 have been checked/rectified. The last one will be rectified by June 1999.

    Business Partners

    HA/HD have been working closely with their business partners, including service providers (e.g., contractors, private management agents, banks) to ensure they are also taking actions to check and rectify date-sensitive items which may affect the services provided to HA/HD. This has been done through the conduct of briefings and seminars, as well as seeking written confirmation from them of their compliance status.

    Contingency Planning

    The objective of contingency planning is to determine pre-determined responses to mitigate the efforts and enable recovery from a Year 2000 induced event. HA/HD have started the process and are drafting the framework for a contingency plan. In the contingency planning process, they will define the command and control structure, resources and prioritisation, actions to be taken in responding to the potential loss or degradation of service, customer communication, etc.

HA/HD aim to complete contingency planning by June this year and conduct the trial exercises thereafter.

Progress of Y2K compliance work in HS and EAA

6. All mission-critical systems4 in HS and EAA are Y2K compliant.

Contingency Planning

7. HA/HD and HS are in the process of preparing contingency plans. They target to complete the contingency plans by 30 June 1999. The Bureau will monitor the progress in the formulation of contingency plans of HA/HD and HS.

Advice Sought

8. Members are invited to note the progress of the Y2K compliance in Housing Bureau, HA/HD and the NGOs under the Bureau's purview.

Housing Bureau
April 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. For HA/HD mission-critical systems include those whose proper functioning is related to:

  • public health and safety;
  • the provision of critical services to the public;
  • payment and revenue collection.

3. Most of the embedded systems are builiding service installations in housing estates (e.g. lifts and fire alarms).

4. For NGOs, any systems that would causes serious impacts on their services to the public are classified as mission-critical.