Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Scotland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

BBC Scotland's Isabel Fraser reports
"It's been all quiet on the millennium bug front"
 real 28k

Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 17:59 GMT
Business as usual as bug is 'beaten'

Scotland's computers have been given a clean bill of health, with no reports of millennium-bug related problems.

Y2K Minister Henry McLeish said measures to avoid system problems associated with the millennium date change appeared to have paid off.

All emergency services, utilities and major businesses said they had made the transition successfully but Mr McLeish stressed that systems would be closely monitored over the holiday to ensure no problems arose and the full picture might not emerge until people return to work.

He said: "A 'business as usual' beginning to the New Year is the best result we could have hoped for and is testament to the professionalism of all those who have worked so hard to prepare for this.

"The investment in time and money has paid off. We were completely prepared and in the end everything went off smoothly."

He added: "Many organisations will use the holiday weekend to test their systems, so the picture will continue to develop until and beyond the main return to work on 5 January."

Craig Russell, operations director of the Scottish Information Liaison Centre in Edinburgh, which was set up to deal with any difficulties, said the indications were good and the only problem dealt with on the night was a North Uist power cut, which was caused by a storm.

The investment in time and money has paid off
Y2K Minister Henry McLeish
"My fears evaporated when nothing happened," said Mr Russell.

He stressed it was never going to be the case that computers would simultaneously crash on the stroke of midnight.

"We've always been confident but not complacent. A huge amount of work has gone on over the last four years. I would have been appalled if things had started to go wrong.

Into 2000
"There remains a possibility, however, that things could go wrong, but considering how it's gone across the world it appears that nothing has been overlooked."

Engineers and the emergency services remained on stand-by to sort out any difficulties.

It had been feared that computers and other devices that rely on computer chips could confuse the double zero of the new year, reading it as 1900 rather than 2000.

Many businesses carried out tests to make sure systems would continue to operate, and the UK Government launched various initiatives to ensure that systems were millennium compliant.

BT Scotland official A BT Scotland official monitors systems
First Minister Donald Dewar said he was pleased the potential millennium bug problems had proved to be an anti-climax.

"There was an enormous amount of preparatory work went into this and a great deal of money went in as well.

"It cost about 45m for the health service alone.

"We managed to keep all the systems running - power generation and vital life-saving equipment for the NHS. It has been a great collaborative effort.

"We live in a complex community. All of us rely not just for our living, but for our lives, on a variety of computers. I was accused of putting out scare stories and going over the top.

"It would have been criminal if we had let this drift. It had potential for causing major problems and difficulties, possibly life-threatening and certainly job-threatening."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
01 Jan 00 |  UK
UK millennium bug fails to bite
29 Dec 99 |  UK
UK opens Y2K bug website
22 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Water firm's sewage 'blowback' fear
11 Dec 99 |  UK
Tour firms bugged by millennium apathy
12 Jul 99 |  UK
Councils trailing in 'bug' action
09 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
UK ready for Y2K says minister
29 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Scots set for Hogmanay to remember

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories