Media Releases
Published Date: 08 June 1999

Jointly released by the National Computer Board and Monetary Authority of Singapore

Singapore Receives All-Green Rating On Y2K Readiness From Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group

08 Jun 1999... The Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group, one of the world's leading Y2K Watchdog Groups, has given Singapore an "all-green rating" across a series of six key components rating a nation's Y2K readiness. Awarded by a consortium of banks, securities firms and insurance companies from 65 countries, Singapore is now one of only two countries world-wide to receive a green rating.

2   The green rating indicates that the Global 2000 Group is comfortable with the level of public information and progress made towards becoming Y2K compliant in six key sectors: Financial Services Firms, Clearing and Settlement Organisations, Telecom Providers, Transport Systems, Basic Utilities (Energy & Water) and Government.

3   Ratings from the Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group can either be green, amber, red or black. An amber rating indicates some improvement is needed regarding public information and progress made towards Y2K preparations, while a red rating indicates substantial improvement is needed in either or both areas. When not enough material or information has been made available to properly assess a country's Y2K readiness, a black rating is given out.

4   "Over the last four years, we have gone to great lengths to ensure that we can greet the new millennium with high expectations, but without any untoward excitement," said Mr. David Lim, Chairman of the National Computer Board. "We are glad that Singapore has met the rigorous standards set by the Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group, and are confident that this rating solidifies our reputation as a world-class centre in terms of business, IT capabilities and quality of life," he added.

5   Singapore's six key components are all in the final phases of Y2K preparations, in line with the city-state's objective of having all systems and services ahead of schedule in Year 2000 planning. Ninety percent of Singapore's government systems had been converted and by mid-year, all government agencies, and key infrastructure systems and service providers will be Y2K ready, well ahead of the 31 December deadline.

6   Preparations are also going well for Singapore's financial sector, with all banks and financial institutions expected to complete all internal testing of mission critical systems and external tests by June 1999. "Year 2000 readiness is one of the biggest challenges facing the financial industry globally. Singapore's preparations began in early 1997 and we are confident that our financial sector will remain resilient in the transition into Year 2000," said Mr Koh Yong Guan, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

7   "Singapore is a very good example of a well-studied, well-planned approach to year 2000," said Mr. Tim Shepheard-Walwyn, Chairman of the Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group, when he was in Singapore for a three-day meeting with the financial community in March this year.

8   The purpose of the Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group's report is to stimulate an open exchange of information about the state of preparations for Year 2000 in markets across the globe. Some 48 countries world-wide are surveyed for the report. The information is also intended to raise levels of international awareness of important Y2K issues and inspire those perceived to be behind schedule to disclose information necessary to properly assess their readiness for the Year 2000.

9   "Year 2000 preparations are obviously a serious concern for all countries in the world, and we are very pleased with Global 2000's stamp of approval," said Mr Lim. "We are working diligently to ensure that come 1 January, business and everyday life will not be disrupted - the phones will work, the trains will run and the lights will come on," he added.

10   Singapore is also active in facilitating cross-border readiness for the Millennium cross-over. To date, Singapore has signed agreements with Chile, Thailand and Australia to facilitate the sharing and exchange of information related to Y2K issues. In April this year, Singapore, Japan and Canada jointly organised an APEC Y2K Symposium to intensify regional Y2K preparations.

About The Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group

The Global 2000 Co-ordinating Group consists of 1,031 contacts of the global financial community from 432 institutions and associations representing 65 countries. These members have joined forces to address the Year 2000 challenge. The Co-ordinating Group's aim is to identify and resource areas where co-ordinated initiatives will facilitate efforts by the global financial community to improve the readiness of global financial institutions to meet the challenges created by the Year 2000 date change.