Notices to Members

No. 13 - Year 2000 Contingency Planning

December 1999

Dear Sirs

Year 2000 Contingency Planning

Millennium compliance testing of computer systems, communication systems and other office systems and equipment has been completed in respect of the Club’s offices in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong and Luxembourg. Accordingly, although there cannot be absolute certainty, the Managers are confident that the Association will not encounter substantial disruption to its operations over the critical period around 31 December and 1 January 2000.

The Club has nevertheless put in place a series of contingency plans to respond to possible failure of computer, communications and office systems over the period between 31 December 1999 and the beginning of January 2000.

The arrangements for each of the underwriting and claims handling offices are as follows:-

  • London

The contingency plan allows the London office to operate effectively without use of computers and for possible failure of communication systems both within the office and outside it. It also allows for other eventualities such as inability to access the office because of external or office facilities failures. Key operational data will be held both in stand-alone personal computers and paper format both in the office and at the homes of key staff.

Friday 31 December 1999 and Monday 3 January 2000 are public holidays in the United Kingdom. The London office will be closed on those dates and over the intervening weekend, but, provided that office facilities are, as expected, functioning on Saturday 1 January, the usual claims service will be available from the office until 1pm on that day.

While the office is closed on Friday 31 December, after noon on Saturday 1 January and on Sunday 2 and Monday 3 January emergency contact should be made with Managers at the home or mobile telephone or fax numbers listed in the Rules and List of Correspondents. These numbers are also listed on our Web site (www.westpandi.com) by use of the password recently notified to all Members.

In the unlikely event that contact with the office is not possible before noon on Saturday 1 January and on Tuesday 4 January, contact should likewise be made using such home or mobile phone and fax numbers.

In the event of telecommunications failure preventing the use of both conventional and mobile telephones, contact may be made by e-mail or telex. In addition, it is considered possible that telecommunications problems may be localised in which case contact may be made with the Club at any one of its offices in London, Hong Kong or Piraeus or via the Correspondent network, as appropriate. Necessary contact lines between the Club’s own staff have been established in the contingency plan.

  • Piraeus and Hong Kong

Friday 31 December and Monday 3 January are not public holidays in Greece and Hong Kong and the offices will therefore be staffed and will provide a normal service on those days. Otherwise the arrangements are as for the London office.

In the case of communication failure, contact should be made by the alternative methods described above.

It is important to the Club and its Members that Correspondents also have in place appropriate contingency plans and we would appreciate Correspondents’ co-operation in ensuring that they have alternative means of maintaining contact with their staff by telephone, fax or e-mail in case their main system fails; that they have in place means of handling data otherwise than through computer systems and that they will be able to operate even if their office facilities are not available.

It would be appreciated if Correspondents could request those service providers customarily employed by them, such as lawyers, surveyors and experts to have appropriate contingency plans in place.

We would also ask Correspondents to make themselves aware of the operating status of relevant ports and of any problems experienced or likely to be experienced with such operations over the relevant period.

Yours faithfully

The West of England Ship Owners
Insurance Services Limited
(As Managers)

R J B Searle