SPC AND THE YEAR 2000 BUG

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SECRETARIAT OF THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY (SPC) Noumea, New Caledonia

Press Release October 19, 1999

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is an extensively computerized organization that has a duty to remain as fully operational as possible under all circumstances. It is not surprising, therefore, that the computer team of this bilingual inter-governmental organization with offices in Noumea and Suva, Fiji, began investigating the possible effects of the Year 2000 bug on the SPC at an early stage.

As has been explained many times, the Year 2000 Bug is actually a series of malfunctions affecting computers and other electronic equipment which use clocks and dates. The bug activates itself when the following dates are reached: 9 September 1999, 31 December 1999 and 29 February 2000. These malfunctions can be poor filing of information, loss of data or, much more seriously, a total failure of the affected system.

As early as mid-1998, SPC implemented a complete detection plan to identify those systems that might be sensitive to the bug. This plan was methodically applied to all systems, i.e. telephones, alarms, computers and software, to produce a list of tasks to be carried out before 31 December 1999. Complete testing of the entire computer system and hardware network was conducted at the end of 1998 by artificially taking all the agency's computers through the above-mentioned dates and verifying the operation of critical components between each of those dates.

Also, all computer equipment and programs that proved unable to survive these fateful dates were scheduled for replacement.

All SPC computers are now "Year 2000-compliant," as the phrase goes, and installation of the final programs for replacement is due to be completed by mid-December 1999, after they have been subjected to a series of essential tests. These changes were, of course, carried out with the active participation of SPC staff and under the constant monitoring of Management, who are aware of the confidence Pacific nations place in the SPC.

In conclusion, the entire organization, particularly the SPC computer team, can now prepare themselves for a happy holiday season, especially in Fiji which is getting ready to be one of the first countries to greet the year 2000.

For additional information, contact: Yannick Le Pommelec E-mail: [email protected] 

Sarah Langi English Editor Secretariat of the Pacific Community BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex New Caledonia Tel +687 26 01 96 [email protected] 

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