Considerable progress in addressing the Year 2000 problem has been made by Australian business since October 1998. At the end of June 1999 over one third of all businesses reported they had completed their Year 2000 work; more than three times the number of businesses which had reached this stage by the end of October 1998.
The proportion of businesses not intending to undertake any Year 2000 work has remained constant at around 40%. Typically these are small businesses with less than 5 employees and low levels of technology dependence. Almost two thirds of the businesses not intending to undertake any Year 2000 work reported that their only technology was communications equipment or a stand-alone computer. The majority of businesses that do not intend to undertake any Year 2000 work reported that they either don't have any technology that will be affected or they don't believe their business will be affected.
Of the businesses intending to undertake Year 2000 work nearly all had started work by the end of June 1999. Virtually all businesses who haven't already completed their Year 2000 work expect to be completed by December 1999.
Australian business expects to spend approximately $10 billion addressing the Year 2000 problem. This estimate has been revised since the October 1998 survey. There are difficulties in producing accurate estimates of Year 2000 expenditure. It is not always possible to separate expenses related specifically to the Year 2000 problem and there is considerable variability in what businesses include as Year 2000 expenditure. For example some businesses only include direct costs, others make allowances for the wages component of staff undertaking Year 2000 work, while others include associated upgrades of technology as part of their Year 2000 work.
ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents preliminary results from the second ABS survey of Australian businesses regarding their progress in addressing the Year 2000 problem. The results represent the Year 2000 status of businesses at the end of June 1999 and update statistics from the October 1998 survey. The scope and methodologies used in both surveys were comparable, except that in the second survey agricultural businesses were excluded. The estimates in this publication are based on 74% response and are subject to sampling variability. Standard error estimates are available from the ABS, on request.
Final results are available in October 1999 in Year 2000 Problem, Australia (cat. no. 8152.0).