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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Many Nations Fail to Provide Y2K Preparation Info Online

WASHINGTON -- Nearly half the world's nations lack web sites dealing with the year 2000 computer glitch, a potential blow to investor confidence, a UN-backed clearing house said.

A survey by the Washington-based International Y2K Cooperation Center found that 87 countries had no Internet sites about preparations for the possible failure of automated systems on Jan. 1.

Only 27 nations' Y2K web sites were "highly informative," while 15 were "somewhat informative" and 23 provided "limited information," the center said Tuesday. Another 47 nations, including Russia, provided information in languages other than English that the World Bank-funded center said it could not fully evaluate.

Bruce McConnell, a former technology official at the White House Office of Management and Budget who is director of the center, said the more readiness information that is disclosed, the better a country's chance of maintaining confidence at home and in international markets. "If little information is released, people will make decisions based on consultants or rumors," he said in a statement. "They may assume the worst - that adequate preparations have not been made."

The center said an English-language web site was essential for a country to be effective in the "international finance community and the press."

The so-called Y2K glitch stems from fears that computers may misread the date on Jan. 1 as 1900 instead of 2000, possibly disrupting systems from airlines to bank teller machines to power grids.

The center's survey was carried out in July. Countries with "highly informative" Y2K web sites included: Australia, Botswana, Great Britain, Canada, Chile, France, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda and the United States.

Limited information was found on the Y2K web sites of the governments of Albania, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, the center said.

Somewhat informative Y2K web sites were maintained by Azerbaijan, Austria, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Sweden and Switzerland.