In June 1999 four councils were identified as not having made sufficient progress in their preparations but this latest report paints a different picture and classifies all councils as 'blue' according to the 'traffic light' model drawn up by 'Action 2000'.
Accounts Commission controller of audit, Robert Black says:
'Good progress has been made in recent months by councils in advancing their Year 2000 preparations. Given how they are placed just now and provided they maintain their present commitment and effort I believe that it is appropriate to classify all councils as blue.
This most recent survey, which was carried out late August/early September reveals that:
1. Many councils have already completed the bulk of their testing of their IT systems and have achieved compliance. Others aim to do so by 31 October.
2. Twenty-nine councils indicated that 90%-100% of their critical processes were already Year 2000 compliant. Three councils had achieved 70% compliance.
3. Most councils expected to reach agreement with staff who will be required to work over the millennium, on working arrangements and conditions, by 30 September.
4. Twenty-nine councils expected to have contingency plans in place by the end of September and the remaining three by 31 October. Nineteen councils have already put their contingency plans to the test.
This report can be found on the commission's web site on www.accounts-commission.gov.uk
Action 2000 is a company set up by the Government to ensure business as usual over the millennium date change period. Their aim is that there will be no material disruption to essential services over the millennium period. Under arrangements established by Action 2000 various organisations will be reporting to the National Infrastructure Forum on the progress being made nation-wide by the essential services in their preparations to achieve Year 2000 compliance.
Information on each council was collected by auditors, assessed by the Controller of Audit's office and placed in one of three categories (red, amber or blue), using the 'traffic light' model drawn up by 'Action 2000'.
RedThe assessment indicates that there is a severe risk of material disruption to infrastructure processes and that timely rectification may not be possible
AmberThe assessment indicates that some risk of material disruption to infrastructure processes exists, but that there is an agreed containment plan to rectify shortcomings
BlueThe assessment has not identified any risks of material disruption to the infrastructure process