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Risk management only Y2K answer

AS THE new millennium draws closer and closer, there is no escaping the Y2K issues.

Property Council member Phillip Carruthers of Norman Disney & Young has been close to the Y2K issue from a property perspective for more than two years, both in Australia and overseas.

Here are some of his insights on what might happen and what to do.

There is no-one who knows what will really happen during the

millennium transition because there are too many variables and vagaries about the whole issue.

We’ve carried out audits, received unequivocal statements of compliance from vendors and rigorously tested systems.

The result? Mostly positive but we have had a number of instances where systems have failed the testing routines even after receipt of compliance from very high profile, responsible vendors.

So what to do? Risk management is the only answer.

You have your audit results and have probably carried out some testing.

If that’s the case then you have done all you can do to be Y2K ready.

It’s now a factor of time until the transition begins but we really don’t know when it will start and end.

It will depend upon the clock that is in the chip that may fail.

Please don’t think that it is all over at one minute past midnight.

Look at the systems critical to your building operations and

determine what you will or can do if they fail.

You must have a transition plan that recognises the critical systems such as the fire indicator panel, security access control and emergency power and set down a step-by-step course of action should a failure occur.

As a closing thought – don’t think the transition is an instant at midnight on 31 December. It’s not.

Problems can occur for quite some time before or after midnight, even into the next day.

And don’t forget the leap year transition of 28 to 29 February.

We all hope nothing happens but urge you to be ready with a

workable plan.

• Joe Lenzo is chief executive of the WA branch of the Property Council of Australia.

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