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Defence praised for its Y2K preparations.

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Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

Liberal Senator for Tasmania


Friday 7 January 2000 

PARLSEC 002/2000






“Defence has successfully transitioned thr ough the Y2K Critical Event Period,” Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Senator Abetz announced today as the period came to an end this morning


“The success of the Defence Y2K Project can be attributed to the time, effort and commitment employed by the department to ensure its critical systems and equipment were Y2K fit for purpose.


“Effectively there were two bugs to manage, the tangible and the abstract,” explained Senator Abetz. “In a management sense both were very real, both impacted our ability to do our job and both were managed to achieve a positive outcome.


“The tangible bug was proven through our extensive testing and analysis before the event. No bugs were found that would have directly impacted safety. This was the basis for our confidence leading up to the event and was confirmed after the event,” Senator Abetz said.


“Of course this was to be expected since the integrity of established engineering and quality processes assure this outcome.”


“Our repair methodology was not based on a slavish IT Y2K compliance dogma, rather a cost effective fit for purpose regime ranging from complete replacement to simple resetting.” Senator Abetz said.


He explained that the rollover confirmed Defence’s research, “for example where we identi fied products that suggested resetting would suffice, this actually happened. The important point to make is the bug was real and its impact predictable.”


Senator Abetz emphasised the importance of managing the abstract Y2K bug which had the potential to create significant concern.


“It is best described by looking to our people deployed in East Timor. We were not going to let the Y2K bug affect our people in East Timor and the Australian public would have expected this from us. This meant letting the ADF and the Australian public know that we were conducting extensive planning, research and coordination to ensure the total activity was bug-free. And I believe we did this, and did it well,” Senator Abetz said.


Ends 07.01 .2000


Further information:  Jane Wagner (Parliamentary Secretary’s Office) 0407 100 521

Alison Marshall (Department)  02 62668461(w)



al  2000-01-12  12:28