THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, October 19, 1998
ADDRESSING THE Y2K COMPUTER PROBLEM
The Y2K problem is an enormous challenge, and we must meet it. Enactment of this legislation is a significant achievement toward allowing all of us to take a successful step into the new millennium.
President Bill Clinton
October 19, 1998
Today, President Clinton signs the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act, that will help provide businesses, governments, and other organizations the necessary informational tools to conquer the Y2K computer problem. The President also launc hes "National Y2K Action Week" which will call attention to, and promote action on, the Y2K problem for small and medium-sized businesses.
Exchanging Information About Solutions To The Y2K Problem. Many organizations have expressed concerns about exposure to lawsuits if they share valuable information about their experiences in dealing with the Y2K problem. The Year 2000 Infor mation and Readiness Disclosure Act provides limited liability protections for information sharing about an organization's experiences in addressing the Y2K problem or the status of their Y2K efforts. These protections will promote and encourage grea ter information sharing on the Y2K computer problem and enhance private and public sector efforts to ensure our nation's computer systems are ready for the new millennium. In an effort to protect consumers, this legislation does not cover statements to i ndividual consumers in marketing a product normally used for personal use. In addition, this legislation will not affect liability that may arise from Y2K failures of systems or devices. The President is now calling on those who have already made progre ss addressing the Y2K problem to collect information and provide it to others through websites devoted to discussing Y2K experiences and solutions.
National Y2K Action Week. Today also marks the beginning of "National Y2K Action Week," which is being led by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, to urge small and medium-sized businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure that the technologies they and their business partners depend upon are ready for the year 2000. Over the next five days:
- Federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration (SBA), will host and conduct hundreds of Y2K educational events and outreach activities at their field offices throughout the nation in an effort to he lp managers of small and medium-sized businesses address the Y2K problem;
- A public outreach program will occur, with National Y2K Action Week posters being hung in post offices throughout the country, a commemorative National Y2K Action Week cancellation mark being issued in major cities, advertisements that will app ear in leading newspapers, and an Internal Revenue Service mailing to 6.5 million small businesses of SBA's Y2K awareness materials.
Extending The Y2K Message. In an effort to get as much information out to companies and businesses regarding the Y2K problem, several important communications mediums are being employed: the SBA has a toll-free number where people can get Y2K a nd National Y2K Action Week information, 1-800-U-ASK-SBA; similar information can also be accessed at two websites, www.y2k.gov and www .sba.gov/y2k.