The Securities and Exchange Commission has put
a new database on its Web site giving investors access to the Year
2000 readiness reports filed by brokerage firms, mutual funds and
other financial companies.
The database now has more than 13,000 reports describing
companies' computer readiness for the Year 2000 date change, how
much it is costing them to prepare, and their contingency plans in
case the systems fail, the SEC said this week.
The market watchdog agency says it views the Year 2000 problem
as a serious issue that, if not adequately addressed, could disrupt
the functioning of many of the world's computer systems. To prevent
disruptions, companies need to examine their computer systems,
retool them, and test the systems and their interactions with other
The SEC recently charged 37 relatively small brokerage firms and
nine stock-transfer agents with failing to fully disclose their
Year 2000 readiness.
And last week, the SEC's chief accountant said a check of
financial reports that publicly traded companies must submit to the
agency shows that many of them are still not complying with Year
2000 disclosure requirements.
He said more than half the companies in an unspecified sample
failed to disclose how much it is costing them to get their
computer systems ready for the millennial change, while close to
half didn't describe their contingency plans.
Known as Y2K, the Year 2000 problem reflects programming in many
older computers that recognizes just the last two digits of a year
in reading a date. Machines that haven't been upgraded are likely
to interpret Jan. 1, 2000 as Jan. 1, 1900. That could cause massive
computer failures, lost data, or broken connections with customers.
The SEC's Web site address is www.sec.gov.