SA pledges $20m to troubled courts system

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SA pledges $20m to troubled courts system

Long-awaited investment to remove justice delays.

The South Australian Labor government has committed $20.3 million to overhauling the troubled courts management system used by the state justice network in its 2015 budget.

The budget includes funding for a new electronic court management system that will manage court documents and information, replacing current systems and facilitating a move to electronic case management.

“Across the justice system there are many delays due to repetitive administrative tasks, double-handling of files and a lack of information sharing between databases," Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said in a statement.

“Investing in a new IT platform is necessary to deal with these issues and bring our courts online, delivering better results for all users.” 

The courts system emerged as a key election issue back in January 2014. The year before, chief justice Chris Kourakis dedicated a speech to the crippling effect legacy IT was having on the operation of the courts network.

The government pledged $500 million to upgrading the Adelaide courts precinct, including its IT, only to be one-upped by the hen-Labor topposition who promised to expand the IT renewal across the the whole state if it was elected.

The Labor government has now matched that pledge.

Additionally, as it revealed earlier in the week, the budget also includes $7.4 million for the police force to replace fixed in-car mobile devices with tablets.

The state has also promised:

  • $5.9 million to equip frontline police with body cameras
  • $4.1 million over two years to replace police human resource and payroll management systems

Outside justice and law enforcement, several other government areas will benefit from new IT investments.

The Electoral Commission’s information systems, which manage candidate nominations, electoral roll information, postal and declaration votes, will be overhauled at a cost of $1.1 million over two years. A further $50,000 is budgeted in 2018-19 for the replacement of election equipment.

The SA Metropolitan Fire Service is getting an upgrade of its communications centre and telecommunications systems at a cost of $1.03 million over two years, along with operating expenses of between $634,000 and $682,000 per year.

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