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TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE COMPLETION REPORT

Division: SEFM
TA No., Country and Name

Amount Approved: $800,000

TA 4832-PHI: Enhancing the Autonomy, Accountability, and


Efficiency of the Judiciary, and Improving the Administration of
Justice
Executing Agency
Source of Funding
Supreme Court of the Philippines
Japan Special Fund (JSF)

Revised Amount: N.A.

TA Approval
Date:
30 Aug 2006

TA Signing
Date:
26 Sep 2006

Fielding of First
Consultants:
10 October 2006

Amount Undisbursed:
$17,458.89
TA Completion Date
Original: 31 Oct 2007
Account Closing Date
Original: 31 Oct 2007

Amount Utilized:
$782,541.11
Actual: 31 May 2009
Actual: 30 Sep 2009

Description
The TA is part of ADB's longstanding and ongoing engagement with justice sector agencies in the Philippines aimed
at supporting the Government's efforts to strengthen the efficiency and efficacy of justice delivery. The TA builds on
reforms supported under TA 3693-PHI: Strengthening the Independence of the Judiciary which sought to provide
support for implementation of key measures under the Supreme Court's Action Plan for Judicial Reform.
Work carried out under TA 3693-PHI led to the approval by the Supreme Court en-banc of a set of key reform
initiatives including measures aimed at strengthening and decentralizing many of the judiciary's administrative and
financial operations. The Government requested further ADB support for implementation of these initiatives as well
as support for development of a medium-to-longer term reform program for justice sector reform in recognition of the
need to broaden judicial reform initiatives to encompass a sector-wide approach (in order to improve coordination of
efforts in the sector as multiple institutions share responsibility for delivery of outcomes). TA 4832-PHI was
formulated in response to this request and was aimed at providing support for reforms in three key areas: (i)
strengthening the fiscal and administrative autonomy of the judiciary; (ii) improving administration of justice; and (iii)
developing a long-term strategy for the justice sector.
The Supreme Court served as executing agency for the TA and implementing agencies included the Department of
Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman. Implementation arrangements for the TA divided its activities into two
components. Component A focused on strengthening fiscal and administrative autonomy of the judiciary.
Component B focused on enhanced administration of justice and development of a framework for a comprehensive
justice sector strategy.
Expected Impact, Outcome and Outputs
The expected impact of the TA, as stated in the TA paper, was a more trustworthy, efficient, and well-governed
justice system that more effectively upholds the rule of law. The expected outcome was a more autonomous,
accountable, and efficient judiciary, and improved administration of justice.
Planned outputs under Component A (strengthening fiscal and administrative autonomy of the judiciary) included: (i)
support for development and implementation of an action plan for putting into effect administrative and fiscal reforms
in the judiciary including implementation of decentralization through the regional court administration office initiative
(and its replication), (ii) development of manuals to support implementation of the above, (iii) procedures for
implementing new formula for local government contributions to the judiciary.
Planned outputs under Component B (enhanced administration of justice and development of a framework for a
comprehensive justice sector strategy) included: (i) an action plan for implementing judiciary's case flow
management system and support for implementation, (ii) development of manuals and business processes for more
effective integration of the barangay justice system into the judicial process, (iii) support for strengthening IT
infrastructure in the judiciary, (iv) support for a case management system for prosecutors, (v) support for
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In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of or reference to
a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any
judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

development of a plan for development of a national justice sector information system, and (vi) development of a
framework for a comprehensive justice sector strategy,
Delivery of Inputs and Conduct of Activities
The TA's targeted impact and outcome supported addressing of core priorities identified in ADB's Country Strategy
and Program (2005-2007) as well as the Government's Medium-Term Philippines' Development Plan (2004-2010),
and its design reflects close consultation with key stakeholders including development partners active in this area.
Formulation of the TA and its terms of reference were generally adequate with objectives and deliverables being
relevant to addressing of identified issues as well as achievable. As noted earlier, the TA built on work under TA
3693-PHI, providing continuity of support over the medium term for key reforms initiated under the earlier assistance.
Performance of consultants engaged under the TA is rated as satisfactory. Delivery of inputs and conduct of
activities was generally competent. The executing agency and other stakeholders considered quality of inputs to be
generally satisfactory, and a number of key recommendations from work carried out under the TA have been
adopted for implementation as noted below, while other work has served as key inputs into ongoing dialogue and the
formulation of current policy-based and TA support. Performance evaluation reports were accomplished for all
consultants engaged under the TA.
The TA was largely implemented as planned, though significant extension was required to its closing date to
accommodate delays in implementation of activities related to decentralization of court administration due in part to a
change in leadership within the Supreme Court and delays in the operationalization of the pilot regional court
administration office.
ADB's performance is rated as satisfactory. TA design was relevant to identified needs and implementation was
timely (with the exception of delays due to exogenous reasons noted above) as well as flexible and responsive to
changing circumstances and client needs.
The EA's performance is rated as satisfactory. The fundamental and far-reaching nature of some of the core reforms
supported under the TA (e.g. decentralization of court administration) meant that implementation was faced with
significant resistance from a range of vested interests affected by these changes. Firm and committed support from
the Court leadership as well as staff involved in implementation, however, allowed for notable progress on reforms
despite such resistance. The EA, with support from the TA, also conducted an extensive range of consultations with
other key agencies and stakeholders (e.g. Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local
Government, Civil Service Commission, and LGUs) relevant to reforms it sought to support.
Evaluation of Outputs and Achievement of Outcome
Most of the outputs originally targeted under the TA have been successfully achieved. Reports generated under the
TA were generally timely and clearly written with recommendations based on in-depth understanding of issues and
sound analysis. Training was competently designed but limitations on TA resources did not allow for sufficient
support for implementation. Further details on individual outputs are provided below.
Component A
Support of administrative and fiscal reforms in the judiciary. Extensive support was provided under the TA for
this core set of reforms. Central to this effort has been support for the judiciary's decentralization initiative aimed at
piloting many of these reforms initially at the regional level. The TA provided fundamental support for the design and
operationalization of the pilot regional court administration office in judicial region 7 (i.e. Visayas).
Development of manuals and business processes to support implementation of above reforms. A
comprehensive set of manuals and business processes have been developed under the TA. Training provided on
implementation of these, however, has proved insufficient due to inadequate provision of funding. There has also
been resistance to adoption of the new processes and procedures within central offices in the judiciary whose power
and authority are diluted by these reforms.
Development of procedures making LGU contributions to judiciary more transparent. A transparent
mechanism for reporting and accounting for LGU contributions was established in Lapu Lapu City and is currently in
use. Replication of this on a national basis, however, will require the concurrence of LGUs and issuance of a legal
instrument from the Department of Interior and Local Government to institutionalize arrangements.

Component B
Action plan for implementing judiciary's case flow management system and support for implementation.
Support was provided for piloting the judiciary's case flow management system (developed with support from World
Bank and USAID) in the Pasay City Hall of Justice through provision of IT infrastructure (please see below).
Development of manuals and business processes for more effective integration of the barangay justice
system into the judicial process. A study was produced on the feasibility of more effective integration of the
barangay justice system. The Supreme Court, however, decided to defer implementation of this initiative pending
reforms aimed at improving the efficiency of the barangay justice system.
Support for strengthening IT infrastructure in the judiciary. The TA provided support to establish modern IT
infrastructure in the Pasay City Hall of Justice. This has allowed for the piloting and fine-tuning of the judiciary's case
flow management system which is now being operationalized in other locations (e.g. Lapu Lapu City).
Support for case management system for prosecutors. A case management system has been developed but it
is currently largely manual. Funding support will be required for its automation.
Integrated Justice Sector Information System. A comprehensive and detailed plan for this was developed under
the TA but progress on implementation has proved difficult due to interagency issues related to sharing of
information as well as varying levels of IT readiness across justice sector agencies.
Justice Sector Strategy. A justice sector strategy encompassing a sector-wide approach to justice sector reforms
was developed under the TA and extensive interagency consultations held. This dialogue has supported recognition
among justice sector agencies of the intrinsic interdependence of many of their key functions as well as the range of
common interests shared by them. This has led to the institutionalization of a justice sector coordination council
(JSCC) comprised of senior representatives from all key justice sector agencies. The JSCC aims to serve as a
mechanism to improve coordination among justice sector agencies and provide a common and regular forum to
identify and address issues of mutual interest. It is chaired by the Chief Justice and has now committed to meet on a
monthly basis.
Overall Assessment and Rating
The TA is rated as successful. Its focus on supporting a more autonomous, accountable, and efficient judiciary, and
improved administration of justice was relevant to addressing core priorities identified under the CSP. It's realized
outputs effectively contributed to strengthening the autonomy, accountability, and efficiency of the judiciary, and
improved administration of justice. Given the scope of activities covered and accomplished under the TA, it proved
to be relatively efficient in terms of cost, though budget required for training as well as period required for
implementation were both underestimated. Sustainability is considered likely given approval of key recommendations
made under it by the Supreme Court and follow-on support under the ongoing Governance in Justice Sector Reform
Program and associated TA.
Major Lessons
Fundamental and far reaching institutional reforms such as the decentralization initiative supported by this TA require
significant time to effectthis should be taken into account in estimating TA implementation timeframe.
The disruptive nature of such reforms also means that they are likely to generate considerable resistance from
vested interests. Extensive, intensive and regular consultations are important to identifying concerns and effectively
manage change.
Such reforms also require extensive capacity building and adequate provision needs to be made for this.
Recommendations and Follow-Up Actions
Many of the key reforms supported under this TA are medium-to-long term in terms of their time horizons and
continuity of support is crucial. This is currently being provided under the ongoing Governance in Justice Sector
Reform Program and its associated TA (TA 7210-PHI: Support for Governance in Justice Sector Reform).
Prepared by: Thatha Hla

Designation: Economist, SEFM