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11-02-08 The new case management system of the California courts (CCMS) - a cause for
serious Human Rights concerns

PolitiCal
ON POLITICS IN THE GOLDEN STATE

Statewide court computer project mishandled, audit says


February 8, 2011 | 10:10 am

California court administrators failed to properly plan for and realistically budget a massive computer
modernization project that has fallen years behind schedule and on which the cost could balloon from
the original estimate of $260 million to $1.9 billion, state auditors said Tuesday.
As a result, State Auditor Elaine Howle recommended that the Administrative Office of the Courts
(AOC) delay moving forward with installing the system until an independent reevaluation is conducted
of potential problems with the California Court Case Management System.
The office "has not analyzed whether the project would be a cost-beneficial solution to the superior
courts’ technology needs and it is unclear on what information the AOC made critical decisions during
the project’s planning and development," Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown in suggesting the delay in
deploying the system at three court systems.
Envisioned as a way to modernize and tie together computer systems operated in the state’s 58 counties,
the new system has been in trouble from the beginning, and some presiding judges have called on the
administrative office and the Judicial Council of California to rethink the project.
Originally estimated to be completed in 2009, the project now may not be finished until 2015-16, but
there is not enough money yet to install it in all counties, which diminishes its value, Howle said.
Howle found the administrative office did not adequately heed warnings by a consulting firm it hired
that raised "significant concerns" about the case management system, and bungled the handling of
contracts to develop the system. In particular, the main contract to develop the system lacked cost
controls, which resulted in the state changing the contract 102 times to increase the contract from $33
million to $310 million, Howle said.
"To make certain that no significant quality issues or problems exist," the audit said, the court
administrators "should retain an independent consultant to review the system before deploying it" as
planned to three court systems.
The Judicial Council agrees with many of the recommendations but has already made changes and will
go ahead with deploying the system in three court systems during the next two years. The council also
believes the final project will be brought in at a cost of $1.3 billion, below Howle's estimate.
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"The Judicial Council is largely in agreement with the (auditor's) recommendations and in many
instances has already adopted practices and policies consistent with the recommendations made," said
William C. Vickrey, administrative director of the courts.

Comments
The new case management system of the California courts (CCMS) - a cause for serious Human Rights
concerns
Los Angeles, June 14 - Human Rights Alert issued warning that the April 12, 2010 Status
Report by the California Judicial Council in re: CCMS [1] development and implementation,
must be a reason for grave concerns of Human Rights abuses, and must be subjected to
publicly and legally accountable validation.
Read the full June 14, 2010 press release:
[1] 10-06-14 New Case Management System (CCMS) of the California Courts - Serious Human
Rights Concern
http://www.scribd.com/doc/33073055/

Posted by: Joseph Zernik, PhD, Human Rights Alert (NGO) | 02/08/2011 at 12:53 PM