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Corporate Pledges of Cooperation -UK and NZ

leille v. sussman
president, sussman inc, year 2000 program consultants
(503) 641-2906
Portland, Oregon USA

With the blessing of Britain's Action 2000, Year2000 New Zealand today
calls on Kiwi businesses to follow their British counterparts and sign a
formal pledge saying they will take positive action - rather than legal
action - to tackle the Millennium Bug in their organisations.

Pledge 2000 is a six-point manifesto committing private and public sector
organisations to share information, help other organisations in their
supply chains and avoid resorting to legal action where possible. Launched
in Britain by Action 2000 last month, the initiative is a world first.

The first two big names to sign up to Pledge 2000 in the United Kingdom
were Sainsbury's and Unilever, and since then many of the major "name"
entities in Britain have followed suit.

Gwynneth Flower, managing director of Britain's Action 2000, said at the
time of its UK launch: "This is a landmark in the battle against the
Millennium Bug. It will let businesses focus on beating the Bug together,
rather than fighting over it.

"We have been increasingly worried about companies' reluctance to disclose
their Millennium Bug plans and their willingness to deploy lawyers.

"The Pledge promotes co-operation rather than litigation among businesses
of all sizes, up and down the numerous supply networks that underpin the

The pledge, drafted by top British law firm Tarlo Lyons, commits firms to
six courses of action:
* to tackle the Bug and ensure business continuity
* to share information on Bug projects
* to help users of products and services to overcome their Bug problems
and give them access to compliance information
* to keep shared Bug data confidential
* to work with supply chain partners
* to solve the problem rather than take legal action.

Action 2000's Ms Flower further added: "If senior managers pledge their
companies to do these six things, working with others, it will help break
the logjam that is stopping people converting their awareness of the Bug
into action.

"Shareholders, customers, trading partners and suppliers should be
demanding to see whether firms they do business with have signed the
Pledge, and ask why if they haven't.

"Any laggards will soon have no choice but to rethink their approach and
get involved."

The Pledge was originally drawn up by a cross section of companies and
organisations, including the first two signatories.

Allan Cheesman, Sainsbury's trading director, said: "I welcome Action
2000's Pledge and hope that hundreds of other companies will sign. We all
want to begin the next Millennium with our businesses running smoothly, not
investigating why we have been affected by the Millennium Bug."

The Pledge has to be signed by a chief executive, managing director,
financial director or board level director. Board directors are encouraged
to promote their membership of the initiative internally.

Companies and organisations (government departments, agencies, local
bodies, etc) wanting to register their pledge should print the Pledge 2000
from the Year2000 New Zealand web site, sign it and register it (see
details at The procedure for
registration is appended to the Pledge.

Businesses that sign the Pledge 2000 and have it publicly registered, are
entitled to use the trademarked Pledge 2000 logo on their company
letterhead and business cards, and web site.

A R (Ross) Stewart, Wilson White Group, Auckland, New Zealand