EMU concerns software body

EMU concerns software body

Mounting concern over European Monetary Union has prompted the software industry’s trade association, BASDA, to begin lobbying the Government over its inadequate consultation. BASDA is alarmed at the lack of discussion with software suppliers, whose products must be able to cater for at least two base currencies after 1999, even if the UK opts out of the new system.

Although the Bank of England (above) has consulted with several organisations about the implications of EMU, no computer or software body has been involved in discussions. This, according to the trade association, could lead to disaster.

BASDA director Dennis Keeling commented: ‘Our members develop software which is used throughout Europe and, even if the UK does not join, any organisation trading with companies elsewhere in Europe will have to have accounting systems that can cope.’

A working group of BASDA members has been set up to lobby Government departments on the issue. Under the existing timetable, the run-up period to EMU is due to begin on 1 January 1999, when participating countries’ exchange rates will be irrevocably locked in to the Euro.

Keeling complained: ‘There has been no guidance whatsoever to the software industry from either the DTI or the Bank of England. Besides the handling of two base currencies, we are concerned about the rounding rules that will apply when national currencies are converted to Euros and back again.’

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