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Saturday, August 21, 1999 Published at 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK


Bosses warned of millennium legal threat

Checking computers "is not enough"

Businessmen have been warned they could be sued if they do not take adequate precautions against the millennium bug.

Bugtown UK
Action 2000, the company set up by the government to help businesses deal with the bug's potential problems, said firms could face legal action if their systems disrupt another business or if they sell non-millennium compatible products.

The group said many businesses believed that they could protect themselves from the bug by checking their computers. But it warned that this is not enough.

A study by the group into a number of companies in Hertfordshire revealed that "documentation of what companies have done to address this threat is lamentably sparse".

Action 2000 has compiled a checklist to help companies protect themselves adequately.

  • Audit all legal contracts in order to identify potential risks and cost implications

  • Be aware that problems resulting from a millennium bug failure are unlikely to be covered by insurance because it is a foreseeable event

  • Be aware of any regulatory requirements that apply to the goods and services your business supplies. Consult your industry body to see if they have drawn up an agreed approach.

  • Keep detailed records of all your millennium bug preparation activities.

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