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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ind. Courts - Plan to link 400 courts takes a step

In late September the Indiana Supreme Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) announced that it would terminate its contract with Computer Associates and that "The Supreme Court remains committed to providing Indiana courts with the technology they need and will announce its plans for moving forward on this project within the next 30 days." (See ILB entries from 9/26/05 and 9/29/05.)

On Monday (Oct. 24th) the JTAC website posted an announcement. It states, in part:

In order to determine the best way to proceed, the Court has decided first to gather information systematically on recent developments in case management systems in general and case management systems technology in particular. In the past month, the staff of the Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) has attended the national Court Technology Conference in Seattle, and hosted a day-long briefing by the National Center for State Courts' technology expert.

In addition, the Court has instructed the staff to invite trial court case management system vendors to demonstrate their systems to the staff during the next several weeks. These demonstrations are for information purposes only and are not part of any procurement process. The staff has been directed to invite all vendors that have trial court case management systems [CMS] installed in Indiana courts and, in addition, other vendors known to the staff to have case management systems installed statewide in other states. Vendors that participate will receive no preference in any future procurement; vendors that do not, no penalty.

Any vendor not invited that wishes to make a presentation should contact Mary L. DePrez, Counsel and Director of Trial Court Technology, to discuss its interest (mdeprez@jtac.in.gov or 317-234-2604). All contacts by vendors or all contacts made on behalf of vendors should be directed to Mary L. DePrez and not to any other individual associated with the project.

Following the conclusion of the demonstrations, the Court will announce whether it will begin a formal procurement process or take other steps toward achieving its statewide case management system vision.

What does this mean? It may mean that JTAC is still looking for the one perfect CMS (case management system), to impose on all the counties.

Or it may mean that JTAC is willing to take a look at the range of case management systems now in place, or that could be used, in various of the Indiana counties, some more appropiate for one county than another, providing that each of these CMSs is able to provide the standardized output products to be defined by JTAC.

The latter is the preferable approach in the view of a number of people, permitting flexibility and room to grow. In that case, however, it would appear that JTAC would also be inviting presentations and demontrations from vendors that have techological solutions for the "second layer" -- tieing together and unifying the county courts' information output, and providing court and public access via the internet.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 26, 2005 09:00 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts