Tue, 09 Mar 1999

KPDE reports millennium bug hurdle cleared

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration declared on Monday that its computer system is ready to cope with the double digit millennial problem widely known as the Y2K bug.

Head of the city's electronic data processing office (KPDE) Suhardi told The Jakarta Post that all of the administration's computer application software systems used daily for public service had achieved Y2K clearance to face the threat of the millennium bug.

Only 30 percent of the administration's entire computer system has yet to be vetted for the global problem as it is only used, for example, to record the city's assets, he said.

"We prioritized work in the systems mainly used to serve the public," Suhardi added.

"The trial run has just been completed. The computers can now distinguish differences between 1900 and 2000," he said.

The inability of computers to surmount the Year 2000 problem (Y2K) would crash data and the entire system of a computer network as well.

It is believed that many state- and privately-owned companies and institutions have started to adjust their computer systems in an attempt to deal with the millennium bug either by deploying their own staff or hiring experts.

According to Suhardi, the upgrading of the system at the Jakarta administration has been effected by his own subordinates in the office.

"We have good manpower. It'd be too hard for us if we had to submit the process to a third party. The cost would be too great," he added.

He said that the office had also established teams for the millennium bug projects.

"Each of these teams is concentrating on an application program, an operating system, as well as hardware and knitter systems," Suhardi said.

The office had allocated Rp 162 billion for replacing certain apparatus and Rp 150 billion for expenses of the teams, which started work in 1997.

"Hopefully, the entire computer system of the administration will be freed from the millennium bug threat by next June," he said.

According to Suhardi, the city administration did not allocate new funds for this project.

"We used our routine expenditure", he said.

In the 1999/2000 draft budget the administration has a projected allocation of Rp 33 billion for Suhardi's office.

According to the office's head of systems information management Beny Arifin Yustian, KPDE has actually long been aware of the threat from the bug.

"We already recognized the problem in 1995 when we were about to process data on vehicle ownership documents, which are valid for five years and expire in the year 2000," he said.

Since then the office has undertaken significant efforts to tackle the problem.

"But, the work can't be done within a short time of period due to high costs. We're facing a shortage of funds here," he said.

According to data, the KPDE office processes 60 items from 421 different kinds of city administrative services. (ind)