The Victorian government today announced its plans to finance an AU$675,000 online system for lodging, accessing, and managing case files for the state's Supreme Court.
Unveiled on Wednesday by Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips, the cloud-based system, dubbed RedCrest, will make use of high-speed broadband to efficiently and cost-effectively manage case files, superseding the outdated, time-consuming process involving physical documents.
"RedCrest is a highly innovative system. It will transform the process of recording, storing, and providing access to court documents, bringing about significant cost savings," Rich-Phillips said today.
"Hosted in a secure cloud environment, all case files, including associated documentation, will be uploaded to a secure site with access limited to appropriate parties from any location, 365 days a year, providing more convenient access and reducing costs for those based in regional and remote areas."
RedCrest will initially see a limited rollout in the Commercial Court arm of the Supreme Court of Victoria across 1,400 cases and approximately 5,000 users, including judges, solicitors, and other involved parties. Each case will be given its own page, and whenever a document is filed, the system will send a notification via email to the case's registered users.
Despite saying in 2010 that moving the court's IT systems into a shared services environment could compromise cases focusing on terrorism, organised crime, and corruption, Supreme Court of Victoria Chief Justice Marilyn Warren today called the RedCrest system "very important for commercial litigation in Victoria".
Previously, the court made use of the Integrated Court Management System (ICMS) for case management, which was late and ran AU$12 million over budget. In the Supreme Court's 2011-12 annual report (PDF), it complained that it had "been frustrated and disappointed by the inadequacies of the ICMS".
According to the court, it was due to these insufficiencies that the court then developed RedCrest for case management, implementing part of the funds designated for the state's ICT Strategy (PDF). The final version of the strategy was published in February this year, after listening to and applying feedback from the public on the draft strategy (PDF).
Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) board chairman Kee Wong said at the time of the strategy's publication that it is crucial for the government to be able to learn and move on from its technology blunders.
"Putting in place processes to improve governance and planning, building internal capability, and encouraging innovations should allow for the creation of government ICT services that meet the needs of citizens, and ICT projects which have a much better chance of succeeding."
In May, the Victorian government set aside AU$19 million in its budget for implementing the ICT Strategy.
Updated at 4.54pm AEST: Added information on the cost of the RedCrest system's development and implementation.