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Killing the bug
Gard succeeds as fly-swatter

Last year all financial institutions and insurance companies in Norway were required by the Norwegian Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission to analyse and create a plan for handling "millennium bug" related problems internally and among their suppliers. In fact, since 1993 Gard has been working on upgrading its IT infrastructure with modern hardware and software technology which has been extensively tested for year 2000 (Y2K) compliance. Gard is therefore in the enviable position of being able to become Y2K compliant without spending time and money on dedicated projects. By planning ahead, we have been able to take care of this important problem through our natural upgrade cycle. The most demanding projects have already been completed and the new systems have been successfully implemented. Remaining project activities with completion dates set for the second half of the 1998 policy year are so far running ahead of schedule. In other areas, Gard is working closely with its principal partners and suppliers through working groups and exchange of information to ensure that there will be no disruptions to business activities due to IT or infrastructure Y2K problems. Gard therefore expects to be fully Y2K compliant to standards equivalent to the British Standards Institute definition (BSI PD 2000-1): "Year 2000 conformity shall mean that neither performance nor functionality is affected by dates prior to, during or after the year 2000."

Gard is also actively involved in informing its Members of the potential Y2K problems which they may face. At Gard’s P&I seminar on 5th June 1998 Per Martinsen of Det norske Veritas (DnV) gave a presentation on the Y2K problem alerting our Members to what could happen and why, as well as giving out information received by DnV and advising on actions which our Members should take.

As a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, Gard has sponsored a number of conferences around the world on "Meeting the Challenge of the Year 2000 in the Shipping and Transport Industry". Between 9th and 29th June this year conferences have been held in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Miami and Athens. The conferences have been well attended by Members and we hope they have found them useful.

Gard’s Legal Department is collecting examples of millennium contractual clauses and has drafted a number of recommended clauses for use in several types of contracts. It is expected that by the time this edition of Gard News is published there will also be in existence a recommended BIMCO clause for use in time and voyage charterparties.

If Members require any assistance in connection with the Y2K problem, they should contact Gard’s Legal Department.