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Defence squashing the millennium bug.

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Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

Liberal Senator for Tasmania


Media Release



9.00am (CST), MONDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 1999


PARLSEC 021/99




The Department of Defence would spend somewhere in the order of $225 million to rectify problems associated with the millennium bug, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Eric Abetz said today in Darwin.


Senator Abetz was opening the four day Australian Defence South East Asia Y2K Management Forum.


“The largest proportion of the $225 million funding, around $169 million, would be used to assess, remediate and test the Defence’s base and local area networks, otherwise known as Project DIARY.


“In the Northern Territory, the planned cost of the project is approximately $7 million, and Defence is hoping to maximise opportunities for value adding in this region,” Senator Abetz said.


Senator Abetz said one of the most significant tasks in addressing the millennium bug problems was simply compiling a comprehensive inventory of IT assets. Defence has 1.5 million items that could potentially be affected by Y2K.


“For example, Defence has a large inventory of medical equipment that must be operational and deployable and the assessment of this inventory has received a very high priority.


“A total of 152 Army, Navy and Air Force sites have been visited to identify 2,700 medical pieces of equipment requiring Y2K testing,” Senator Abetz said.


“Of these 1,350 have been tested, showing nearly 60 per cent are compliant and 230 are pending manufacturer advice. Eight items have been identified as not compliant and ways of working around these problems have been developed.


Senator Abetz said the Fremantle Class Patrol boats - a common sight in the seas off the Northern Territory - have 16 major systems potentially subject to Y2K problems.


“Tests have confirmed that nine are compliant, with six still under investigation through equipment suppliers and one confirmed as non-compliant.


Senator Abetz said Y2K assessment of the F/A-18 Hornet involved consideration of 87 aircraft systems, of which all were found to be compliant.


“However, the analysis of the support systems for the Hornet found that four are non-compliant and one is still under investigation,” Senator Abetz said.


Senator Abetz said testing for Y2K compliance is a challenging task involving a wide range of personnel within Defence.


“Defence has made good progress towards Y2K preparedness.


“At the time of the last Commonwealth Report to Office for Government Online (OGO) in January 1999, Defence was able to report that in relation to critical business functions, 6 percent were under assessment, 13 per cent were under repair, 9 percent were under test following repair and 72 per cent were compliant.


“On 31 January 1999, the assessment task was 94 per cent complete compared to only 23 per cent one year ago,” Senator Abetz said.


Senator Abetz said with the countdown to the Year 2000 in its final st ages, he was positive that Defence would combat and defeat the millennium challenge.


Ends 07.02.1999


Contact: Jane Wagner  (02) 6277 3710 or 0414 983 784


****A full copy of Senator Abetz’ to the forum speech is available on request.


Senator Abetz’ responsibilities in the Defence portfolio include:


·  Defence property and facilities (with the Minister retaining control over decisions concerning the location of defence facilities and disposals over $10 million);

·  Cadets;

·  ADF assistance to the civil community of a non-emergency nature;

·  Community matters arising from and in connection with ADF operational training activities;

·  Member of the Defence and Industry Advisory Council;

·  Oversee the Capability and Technology Demonstrator programme; and

·  Defence Corporate Information (including Y2K).