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CPSR Y2k Action Plan


CPSR Y2k Action Plan

Service To Small Organizations


Provide assistance to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations which do not have staff or resources necessary to assess and address their Y2k problems and are at risk as a result of the Y2k situation.


Volunteers acting on behalf of CPSR should create a Web site containing guidelines on things the target organizations should do to assess and address their Y2K problems and to be prepared for the impact of the millennium end roll-over. To be truly useful, the tips have to lead people to places where they can get fixes or help [This is the area where we have to map a careful path through the ethics minefield, because we can't become boosters or detractors of any products or services. Legal advice needed.]

The site would begin with the obvious things that they should do, such as how to get help, what to look for in a consultant, etc. Thereafter it could be expanded by a built-in guest book on the page. Y2K savvy professionals would be invited to contribute suggestions for things to add to the list. [Each submission runs a script that adds the new entry to the list. Alternatively, the submissions could go first to a "listmaster" who would edit and determine which should be posted.]

A second section of the site could deal with things they should do if they are adversely affected by the Y2k problem after 2000.

Contents of the Web site could be printed to help organizations that do not have access to the Web but still may need help. If there is enough interest and support can be found, a TV documentary might be developed and offered to all TV outlets.


CPSR should identify computer professionals who are willing to work pro bono to help target organizations address their Y2k needs. A volunteer would meet with a person to go through the guidelines step by step to help them get started. They would generally not be expected to do "hands-on" work except in very minor ways. The great value of the service would be in offering a guiding hand to people who may be overwhelmed by the apparent enormity of the problem. A mechanism for matching volunteers with people in need would have to be created.

 Speakers bureau:

Some of the volunteers might be willing to speak to groups, such as Chambers, Rotary Clubs, Neighborhood Associations, or any other community groups that look for speakers. The "core" speech could be an explanation of the guidelines.

Providing such volunteer service would greatly contribute to polishing the image of the computer profession at a time when it is likely to be badly tarnished in the eyes of the public and the media as the full impact of the Y2k situation hits home. CPSR will be able to demonstrate that at least a segment of the profession acknowledges partial responsibility and has been actively doing things to alleviate the impact, particularly on those least able to help themselves.  

Public Service

As we move closer to 2000, rumors and misinformation are n should be reviewed for any potential liabilities that might result. There should certainly be a tight disclaimer along the lines of all medical pages indicating that The information is provided as a service but a competent professional should be consulted.

What can be permitted and what should be avoided? Can there be mention of suppliers or consultants by name? How can advice, even very simple advice, be framed so as not to create a potential liability?

If a listing of volunteers is maintained and each states his/her own qualifications and provides references, is there any liability if someone has a bad experience with one of them? If there are complaints about a volunteer can CPSR remove him/her from the list?

previous Copyright 1997, 1998,, CPSR

Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

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