[ISN] Andersen Consulting bars new Y2K work

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Aug 13 1998 - 17:17:37 PDT

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                                                 13 August, 1998
    Andersen Consulting bars new Y2K work
    By Cass Warneminde                                 
    Andersen Consulting plans to stop accepting year 2000
    consulting work due to fears it could be sued by clients
    whose systems fail at the turn of the century, ComputerWorld
    has been told.
    According to an industry source, a "global policy" banning
    Andersen business units from engaging in further Y2K
    consulting activities was handed down by company executives
    in the past 48 hours.
    Andrew Macpherson, technology partner at Andersen, denied
    that any such plan would affect existing contracts involving
    Y2K work. "Yes, we're doing work for certain clients on Y2K,
    but no, we're not discontinuing that client activity."
    Macpherson was cagey, however, when questioned on whether or
    not it would take on new Y2K consulting business.
    "We have a whole set of policies and procedures about how we
    consider dealing with future Y2K work and we'll apply that."
    Macpherson was unable to elaborate on these "policies and
    procedures" by press time.
    Despite this denial, another Andersen employee contacted by
    ComputerWorld confirmed the global mandate was a reality,
    but was uncertain as to whether or not the policy is
    "official or just used in practice". "It's my understanding
    that it's a global directive - it's not specific to
    Australia and New Zealand," she said. "I do remember reading
    something about [this policy on our intranet] but I'm not
    sure of the details."
    A spokesperson from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers said
    she understood Andersen's reluctance to continue with its
    Y2K business. Furthermore, she said Price Waterhouse - prior
    to its merger with Coopers - had steered clear of such
    activities due to the danger of millennium bug-related
    lawsuits. "From an old Price Waterhouse perspective, we
    didn't do any work in Y2K whatsoever for precisely that
    reason," she said. "There's been some speculation in the
    marketplace for some time [that Andersen would pull out of
    the Y2K arena]."
    Graeme Henry, Andersen's managing partner Australia and New
    Zealand, was unavailable for comment by press time.
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