1999 News Story

Y2K committee gives reassurance on Kingdom's readiness

Head of the Higher Y2K Committee and Vice President for Research at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Suweil announced yesterday that a telecommunications center has been set up to observe the advent of the year 2000 and its potential impact on computer systems. He remarked that the committee is following the guidelines issued by the British Standards Institute, and referred to the specialized group that is monitoring Y2K problems affecting the health sector.

The committee, he said, has been receiving monthly reports from the various sectors, and reported that as of the end of Sha'ban [December 8, 1999] the rate of compatibility in the services sector was 98 percent. He reported, however, that Saudi Arabian Airlines will not have any planes flying in the first hours of the year 2000, and that all banks will issue customers' statements before the end of December. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), is nevertheless confident of the achievements of the Kingdom's banks in testing for Y2K problems, and assures all clients that their money is safe. Already it is clear, for example, that ATM cards with expiration dates in 2000 and 2001 are experiencing no problem.