The City Disputes Panel and the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA), part of the Ministry of Defence, have launched a pre-litigation protocol to tackle disputes arising from the Millennium Bug.

The CDP Protocol provides a clear framework to deal with disputes without resorting to litigation.

It promotes speedy settlement of disputes between users and suppliers of information systems.

DERA's independent specialists will be available to provide expert assistance on CDP tribunals. In the coming weeks the CDP will be promoting the use of the protocol, conventionally and on the internet.

The protocol represents a practical contingency to mitigate the impact of Y2K-related errors which may inadvertently still remain (or have been generated in the repair process) in key mission-critical systems.

Most importantly, the protocol reduces the risk of delays in the authorisation of information exchange and repairs where such delays could be extremely damaging.

The City Disputes Panel, which is the dispute resolution body for the financial services industry, has accumulated two years' worth of specialist knowledge to resolve disputes arising from the Y2K Bug.