Leap year software glitches will hit tomorrow, according to bugbuster

The task force has issued a list of 21 software packages where problems are most likely to occur and warned companies to check their systems in a bid to combat the problem.

The packages most likely to suffer at the hands of the leap year date include Filemaker Pro 3, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Outlook 98 and Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition 4.

It added that potential leap year recognition problems have also been identified in computer hardware and embedded systems – but warned that many potential glitches not likely to surface until the end of the year.

But in many cases the problem may not become obvious until 31 December, the 366th day of the year – leading to a knock-on effect into 2001.

Action 2000 programme manager, Andy Nurse, said: ‘Many kinds of systems store and process dates that don’t recognise that 2000 is a leap year. If they do not, they may not operate correctly with a variety of effects.

After 28 February, systems may move straight to 1 March or some other date and miss out or reject 29 February, or they may permit invalid dates such as 30 or 31 February.

‘It is extremely possible financial documents will contain the wrong date or that weekly or monthly accounts will miss out the 29th altogether,’ he added.Although major problems are not expected, any system using dates could be disrupted the task force added.

In a bid to reduce risk Action 2000 has issued businesses with a checklist.

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