November 25, 1998
To:Board of Health
From:Dr. Sheela Basrur, Medical Officer of Health
Subject:Public Health Year 2000 Project Update
The purpose of this report is to update the Board of Health on the work being done to address
the Year 2000 data change challenge in the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health. This
is for information only and as follow-up to the Year 2000 presentation made to the Board.
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
The funds for the Public Health Year 2000 Project are administered through the City of
Toronto Year 2000 Project. The request for City Year 2000 funding is before Council on
November 25, 1998.
It is recommended that the Board of Health receive this report for information.
City of Toronto Year 2000 Project
The City of Toronto has developed a co-ordinated Corporate-wide project to address Year
2000 challenges. Becoming "Year 2000 ready" is a top priority for the City of Toronto. The
City is not alone, as governments, agencies, companies and industries world-wide are actively
working on the Year 2000 computer and embedded systems challenge.
The objective of the Year 2000 Project is: "Business continuity through the Millennium
change for the City of Toronto, its' Departments, Agencies, Boards and Commissions".
Our inherent dependence on information technology means that the Year 2000 date change
will have a profound impact on the City of Toronto. This is not only an information
technology issue. It is a business challenge. It affects computers, computer applications and
information systems, and equipment that contain embedded microchips (e.g. telephones,
elevators, dental x-ray machines, etc.). The impact is throughout all business processes, both
internal and external. Thus, the approach being taken is comprehensive.
In February 1998, a Year 2000 Committee was established to develop an overall plan for the
City of Toronto. In the summer of 1998 a Year 2000 Project Office was created to co-ordinate
all of the City of Toronto's Year 2000 initiatives. The Year 2000 Team is made up of City
staff who understand our business. The team is partnered with IBM Global Services who
provide strategies and skills to help with the Year 2000 challenge. Each City Department has
a Year 2000 Departmental Project Manager, an Account Manager and a Quality Assurance
Manager. Larger Divisions, Agencies, Boards and Commissions have also established Year
2000 Teams. In addition there are 6 corporate wide initiatives related to Year 2000 covering:
External Partners and Agreements; Fleet; Facilities Management; Desktops; Server Platform;
The Year 2000 Project Office provides support to all aspects of the project and is responsible
(a)Reports to Strategic Policy and Priorities Committee
(b)Development of a standard process
(c)Preparing and implementing city-wide initiatives
(d)Planning, tracking, and financial management
(e)Quality assurance including standards, procedures & strategies
(f)Training/education of Year 2000 staff
(g)Providing expertise in contingency planning
(h)Developing clean management policies
A five step strategy is being used by the City to address the Year 2000 challenges facing it.
These steps include:
Doing an inventory of all computer systems and equipment, vendors and external contacts.
Identifying the potential impacts of Year 2000 date problems on these systems and equipment
and prioritizing to identify the critical systems.
Identifying the remedies, costs and creating a schedule to address the issues.
Implementing the remedies and solutions.
Ensuring that the remedy works.
Implementing the Year 2000 compliant solution.
January 1, 2000 is a deadline that cannot be moved. Therefore, the Year 2000 Project Office
has established a series of milestones to guide the progress of the project and ensure that we
meet the January 1st, 2000 deadline.
July 1998Formation of Year 2000 Program Office
September, 1998List of critical business functions
October, 1998Assessment of business functions
December 1998 to April 1999Remedy\Identification
April to October 1999Testing and re-implementation
December, 1999Preparing to go into the new millennium with the Year 2000 version in full
The City of Toronto Year 2000 Project Office submitted a report to Council on November 25,
1998. This report addressed 84 business cases and requested funding for the most critical
systems in the City. The funding will be used to fix, test and re-implement the most critical
systems based on the milestones above.
Public Health Year 2000 Project
Senior Management has identified the Year 2000 challenge as a top priority for Toronto
Public Health. They have established a Public Health Year 2000 Team to lead the public
health effort. This team is following the strategy, protocols and milestones identified by the
City of Toronto Year 2000 Project Office.
Public Health faces an additional challenge in the form of amalgamation. Public Health
resources may not be sufficient to effectively address both Year 2000 and amalgamation
issues at the same time, especially in computer systems. Where necessary, remediation of the
Year 2000 issues will take priority over amalgamation issues.
Public Health relies on applications that are provided by the Public Health Branch of the
Ministry of Health. The Ministry is actively working on making these systems Year 2000
ready. To help streamline the Year 2000 compliance testing and certification process,
members of the Public Health Year 2000 Team are working closely with the Ministry of
Health Year 2000 Project. This will result in the Ministry of Health providing a Year 2000
ready application to Health Units that are in line with the City of Toronto protocols. The only
work that will remain for Toronto Public Health is user testing the "fixed" applications to
ensure that they work on our computers systems properly and re-implementing the new
A series of nine business cases addressing the most critical systems for Public Health have
been developed and submitted to the Year 2000 Project Office for inclusion in the report to
Council (mentioned above). The Public Health Year 2000 Team will continue to work closely
with the Corporate Year 2000 Project Office as we move through the phases of this project.
Health Sector Year 2000 Project
The Ministry of Health has established a Health Sector Year 2000 Project to provide
information to the provincial government about the state of Year 2000 readiness across the
health sector. The Health Sector Year 2000 Project will make policy recommendations to the
Ontario government regarding the magnitude of the Year 2000 problems throughout the
Ontario health sector.
This project is also designed to raise awareness about the Year 2000 date change challenges
across the health sector in Ontario. It will help to encourage all aspects of the health sector to
address Year 2000 data change in their practice, clinic, hospital or agency.
The various health sector associations are collaborating with the Health Sector Year 2000
Project Office to develop and share key information with their combined membership. The
Association of Local Public Health Agencies (ALPHA) is an active participant in this
initiative. The Toronto Public Health Year 2000 Project will make use of any information that
is available through this project.
Toronto Public Health has a strong commitment to effectively address the Year 2000 date
change issues affecting it. The Public Health Year 2000 Team, in collaboration with the City
of Toronto Year 2000 Project Office and the Ministry of Health, are well on the way to
resolving the Year 2000 challenges in critical public health systems.
Nancy Day, Year 2000 Project Manager
Dr. Sheela V. Basrur
Medical Officer of Health