Nick Ross, today launched a booklet 'The Millennium Bug - Facts Not
Fiction'. The booklet is designed to inform the public about if and
how the millennium bug will affect them and to dispel some common
Launching the£5m campaign, Mrs Beckett said:
'This easy to read booklet separates the facts about the millennium
bug from the fiction. It tells people about how key basic services -
hospitals, airports, cashpoints, supermarkets and petrol stations -
will be operating over the new year period. It is an informative and
reassuring booklet which I urge people to read.'
Nick Ross said:
'I think the booklet is very helpful. Some people are confused about
whether the millennium bug will affect their home computer, video
recorder or even microwave. This gives clear information about what
items are at risk, how to check them and where to get further advice.
It's a 'One Stop Shop' of information about the millennium bug.'
The booklet explains what the millennium bug is and what services may
be affected by it. It covers domestic appliances, home personal
computers, shops and petrol stations, health, travel, personal
finance, insurance and utilities. The booklet has been compiled on
behalf of Government by Action 2000 in conjunction with leading UK
companies, the utilities, travel authorities and government
The booklet will be distributed as an insert in national and regional
Sunday newspapers on 13th June 1999, and will also be available at
main post office counters and in main TV listings magazines. The
booklet is designed to be an easy to keep reference guide to those
who are uncertain about how the millennium bug will affect them as
the date change draws nearer. Nick Ross will front a television and
radio advertising campaign in support of the booklet which is also
being published today. The booklet will be supported by a dedicated
action line, run by Action 2000. Actionline will assist people with
further enquiries and can provide extra booklets.
Individuals or businesses who feel they want further advice on
Millennium Bug issues are invited to phone Actionline on
0845 601 2000.
1. The booklet 'The Millennium Bug Facts Not Fiction' will be
distributed in Sunday newspapers on 13th June 1999. It will be
available at main post office counters. A faxed copy can be requested from LGCnet, tel 0171 833 7324/5. The£5m information
campaign is designed to give people clear information about the
Millennium Bug and what services will be available over the new
2. Individuals wishing to request copies of the brochure should call
the Millennium Bug Actionline on 0845 601 2000.
3. What is the millennium bug? It is the inability of many business
systems and other electronic devices to recognise the date change
from 1999 to 2000. This is because their timing devices only
acknowledge the last two digits of any year and may therefore
interpret the century change incorrectly, interpreting the new
date change as 1900 and not 2000. The problem could affect
business systems and embedded systems with potentially serious
4. Action the government has taken to address the problem. The
president of the council, Margaret Beckett, chairs MISC 4, a
cabinet committee which is responsible for driving action across
both the public and private sectors. The aim is to ensure there is
no material disruption of key public services over the millennium.
A dedicated Year 2000 policy team (website
www.open.gov.uk/citu/cituhome.htm), based in the cabinet office,
supports MISC 4 and the Year 2000 media co-ordination unit has
recently been established in the cabinet office to act as a
central government press office and co-ordination centre for Y2K
information. (tel. 0171 270 6193/6085, fax. 0171 270 6628.)
6. Action 2000 Millennium Bug Campaign. Action 2000 is a company set
up by the government to help and advise private sector businesses
on converting their awareness of the millennium bug into action.
The campaign was launched in January 1998 with an actionline
(0845 601 2000) and website (www.bug2000.co.uk) providing
factsheets on the measures to be taken and signposting further
sources of information.