Two Minnesota counties are working to empower local attorneys with a completely overhauled case management system and, in doing so, starting the state on the road to software standardization.
Anoka and Dakota counties are each building a massive new system to generate, manage and archive court documents for attorneys in both counties. The systems will be compatible with Minnesotas broader CriMNet initiative, launched in 2000 with a mandate to define a single enterprise architecture for the states 1,100 jurisdictions.
The six-year, $260 million technology initiative is built around baseline standards such as XML to ensure that new systems within each jurisdiction can interact with the rest. Once completed, CriMNet will allow law enforcement officials to check a suspects name and criminal history across the state.
Currently, such a search requires law enforcement officials to call jurisdictions one by one, said Jay Stassen, the head attorney for the Civil Division of the Dakota County Attorneys Office.
But to pull this effort off, Anoka and Dakota counties need help—and a lot of it. They first turned to business analysis services provider Venturi Technology Partners in December 2002. Venturi, based in Charlotte, N.C., in turn issued an RFP (request for proposal) seeking a new case management system for the counties.
Ciber Inc., a $690 million technology consulting company based in Greenwood Village, Colo., replied to Venturis RFP in July 2003 and, after contract negotiations, signed a deal in December to design the case management system.
Under Phase 1 of the project, slated for completion by May 1, Ciber will provide the counties with a development and implementation blueprint at a fixed price. The blueprint will detail key components of the case management system, including data fields, data labels, screen views and system functionality.
Plans call for a mid-2004 application rollout, with project completion slated for the first quarter of next year, according to Nancy Mallinger, a technology project manager at the Anoka County Attorneys Office.
The systems total cost will be about $900,000, estimates Roger Sherman, director of Law & Justice Solutions at Ciber.