Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:29

US firm to build new Vic courts case management system

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US firm to build new Vic courts case management system Pixabay

More Australian taxpayer money will flow to the US, with the California-based firm Journal Technologies having landed a contract to build a new case management system for the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Children’s Court of Victoria.

A pilot of the new system and incremental rollout are expected to begin in mid-2021.

A statement from Court Services Victoria said the new system would "enable improved community outcomes by significantly enhancing the ability of other justice agencies to interact with the courts, and be a platform for more efficient court management".

It said the two courts heard more than 300,000 cases annually, with these becoming more complex and increasing by the year. While the existing system was capable of dealing with the current load, there were barriers to meeting service expectations and handling the growing demand.

Journal Technologies was selected after an open market three-stage procurement process and comprehensive evaluation, the statement said.

The cost of the contract was not specified, but the statement said the last state budget had provided $89.2 million for a new system as part of the government response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

iTWire inquired whether there were any local firms in the running and was told there were responses from both local and international suppliers. The exact numbers and names of companies were not provided.

The statement said Journal Technologies had been providing case management systems to government agencies for more than 25 years and was dealing with more than 500 courts and justice agencies in the US and Canada.

It added that the company was currently building a system for the Courts Administration Authority of South Australia.

Judge Peter Lauritsen, chief magistrate, Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, said: "This is a significant project as the new system will be a key part of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria’s ongoing business transformation as it strives to modernise and provide a greater level of customer service to court users."

And Judge Amanda Chambers, president, Children’s Court of Victoria. said: "The Court’s existing case management systems stand in the way of enhancing services and mean that magistrates, staff and court users are reliant on obsolete technology each day.

"I welcome the appointment of Journal Technologies and I look forward to fit for purpose technology in the Court which will enable improved services and more efficient, user-friendly processes."

Developers from Journal Technologies' US operations will join local developers to build the system.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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