As pointed out, Justiz 3.0 concluded its phase 1 with the overall report (containing an implementation plan), phase 2 with parallel implementation projects is well underway. We can therefore highlight the most important improvements striven for, their benefits and consequences. For a complete list see pages 14 to 20 of the overall report:
1.) Several users will be able to access the complete file at the same time
- Shortening the duration of proceedings through elimination of waiting time
- Files can be inspected and information can be given at any time
- Copies of files can be made easily
- The entire contents of files must be available in digital form
- Ensure that paper documents are digitised immediately, so that there is no difference between the paper file and the digital file
- Consistent authorisation concept for internal and external persons authorised to read/edit files
2.) Working at any place will be possible
- No paper files must be transported
- More possibilities of processing files, as one is not limited to certain activities (e.g. only judgment files)
- Mobile IT workplace equipment must be provided
3.) Users will be able to search, process and sort all file contents electronically
- The entire text of the file can be searched
- Flexible structuring of the file contents according to standard views and personal preferences (easier studying of files)
- Text passages can easily be transferred to one's own texts through Copy & Paste
- Creates the fundamental prerequisite for IT-based automation
- Allows more efficient work with the file
- All contents that have already been made available digitally (e.g. by way of electronic legal communication (ELC)) must be edited by means of OCR
- All file contents on paper must be digitised and edited by means of OCR as well
- Scanned documents must be subjected to visual examination and scanned again if the quality is not good enough
- File contents must be based on structural data
4.) Primarily deliver outgoing documents centrally and electronically
- Cost reduction through savings on postal charges, more efficient printing and no cost of material in the case of electronic delivery, reduction of space for archives
- Less work through elimination of manual handling
- Time savings through faster transmission and reduction in/no data to be entered by the recipient
- Incoming paper files need to be digitised
- Ensure that also paper documents that were created within the justice system are digitised immediately
- Expand the obligation to use electronic legal communication
- Use e-delivery services, supported by automatic identification of the parties involved in the proceedings
5.) It will be possible to allocate jobs within one file on an ad-hoc basis to any person or office defined in the system, if necessary by means of model procedures and in compliance with defined rules
- Flexibility in the work process due to the possibility of (parallel) ad-hoc processes among persons and/or organisational units (e.g. decision-making officers, assistants' offices, team assistants and service centres)
- Flexible cooperation within a future file processing system (anybody can communicate with anybody at any time)
- Possibility of defining (process) rules in order to ensure compliance with certain processes
- Recurring processes can be displayed through model procedures
- Make available a flexible system for cooperation of all persons and offices involved
By means of the strategy-finding phase of the Justiz 3.0 initiative the need for future IT support for workplaces in the justice system was identified by including all occupational groups and professional bodies, also for the purposes of an efficient citizen service. For this purpose common requirements which apply to all working groups of the business architecture were developed, which, so to say, constitute the guard rails for the future steps in the Justiz 3.0 project.
In this connection digital file management, i.e. where the complete file is available in digital form and can be inspected and processed by authorised persons at any time and place, has been identified as a material requirement. Irrespective thereof, the decision-making officer can choose between working with the file in paper form or electronically.
On the basis of the identified requirements an information system architecture was developed, which is able to support those requirements by means of software components in the best possible way. In this respect initial projects for implementation of the strategy of Justiz 3.0 were defined, described and included in an overall plan. Some projects, as, for example, 'service of documents within the justice system (iERV)' have been launched already.
After completion of the strategy-finding phase preparatory work for centrally required IT components of the future IT architecture of the justice system has begun. This includes, but is not limited to, a central file system, a cross-section workflow management system and a technical integration framework for connection of the current VJ to the first two components mentioned above. For support of those projects a job-related structure was established which keeps up exchange of information with the stakeholders of the Justiz 3.0 project. According to the latest plans, a first pilot run of digital file management will be available by the end of 2015, on the basis of which fine tuning with the various user groups can be done. Apart from the new developments in connection with Justiz 3.0 adaptations required by changes of the law and specific improvements of the existing IT systems of the justice system will still be made, which will also be based on proposals for improvement made by the working groups, as, for example, a reduction in procedural steps in VJ.
We have learned that sufficient staffing with the appropriate qualifications right from the beginning is crucial.
Last not least it was essential to ensure strong participation of all occupational groups and professional bodies and – while encouraging open discussions and brainstorming – swap ideas and spark visions by highlighting new (especially technological) developments, thus offering a guiding hand along the way towards eJustice.