European companies and administrations have completed about half of the work necessary to avoid the disruption likely to be caused by the millennium bug, some way behind the United States where 61% of work has been completed, with European SMEs a worryingly long way behind, according to a survey published on December 15 by Cap Gemini.

The most advanced countries in Europe are the Nordic nations (57% of work completed in Finland, 55% in Denmark and Norway and 52% in Sweden). Germany is also well placed (52%), followed by France (49%, the European average), the United Kingdom (47%) and Belgium (46%). Completion rates in the Netherlands (40%), Italy (39%) and Spain (37%) are much less satisfactory. The situation varies considerably according to the size of organisations. In France, 91% of large enterprises and administrations (500 employees or more) claim to have a year 2000 plan in place, but this rate drops to 59% among organisations employing between 150 and 499 staff and to 42% among organisations with a workforce of less than 149. 40% of the latter claim "not to be concerned" by the problem (compared with 6% of large organisations). 18% recognise they are likely to face problems with the change to the year 2000 but have no plan in place.

While the problem is generally being addressed, verification is less widespread: 30% of Western enterprises and administrations are not planning to test systems prior to the...

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