COURT TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
June 4, 1999
Judge Allan Schmalenberger, Chair
Judge Benny Graff
Judge Joel Medd
Justice Dale Sandstrom
Members Present via Conference Call
Kurt T. Schmidt
Judge Schmalenberger called the meeting to order.
Judge Medd moved that the minutes from the March 1999 meeting be approved as distributed.
Justice Sandstrom second the motion.
There was no discussion.
The motion passed.
Ted Gladden told the committee of conversations he has had with personnel in Grand Forks about moving their UCIS database from Grand Forks' AS400 the Judiciary AS400. Those initial discussions indicated that it might be a good idea based on, among other things, an over-burdened AS400 in Grand Forks.
The NECJD reviewed the idea and decided to remain on the Grand Forks system at this time but to revisit the issue in 6 months.
Ted Gladden discussed the plan that he will be presenting to the Presiding Judges to add 6 additional counties to UCIS. The counties would be selected based on total filings for 1998. The 6 highest-volume counties are: Rollette, Ransom, Foster, McHenry, Kidder and Traill. There was substantial discussion about Traill county and whether to consider adding them to UCIS or PCSS in Cass county.
It was asked if there was a recommendation needed from the committee on this issue. Kurt cautioned against an arbitrary addition of 6 counties without considering and measuring the additional support requirements. He also asked for flexibility in adding the counties to protect the current levels of service being provided.
Judge Medd moved that based on the outcome of the analysis, if a single system is recommended, that Traill county be encouraged to move to UCIS and not to expand PCSS beyond Cass County, pending available funding.
Faye McIntyre second the motion
The motion passed
UCIS and Municipal Courts
Kurt has been receiving requests from municipal courts for the UCIS system and wanted to know the committee's feeling regarding support of the municipal courts.
Judge Schmalenberger suggested that we continue working with the municipalities as we have been and to begin planning on how to integrate them with our current users and system. Susan Koenig was asked to address this issue in the strategic plan being created.
System Analysis Project
Kurt provided an update regarding the system analysis project. The RFP had been finalized, proposals received and a contract awarded to Justice Served. The consultants working with Justice Served have been in North Dakota since May 10 and expect to be done with their 'onsite' work by June 11. They have visited Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot, Bismarck, and Mandan and have visited with representatives of many state, local, county and private entities. Their draft final report is expected by the end of June.
Kurt provided an update regarding the Juvenile system. We are near a completed, signed contract, the hardware is being ordered. The developer is expected onsite for installation the last 2 weeks of June. A tentative time frame for statewide installation and training is October.
Digital Audio Recording
Judge Schmalenberger discussed the digital recording project being done in SWJD. Presentations from 3 vendors have been viewed. A contract is being pursued with BCB for their system. The system is to be delivered and paid in this biennium.
As directed at the last meeting, Policy 215 was placed on the agenda for the current meeting.. It seems the policy is contradictory in that its scope included all court information systems, yet the substantive language seemed to be directed only to UCIS.
Changes were discussed at length with several amendments and changes identified.
Judge Medd moved that the policy be amended as discussed and then sent to the Supreme Court.
Judge Graff second the motion.
The motion passed. Kurt is to make the changes discussed and present the policy to the Supreme Court.
As directed at the March meeting, Kurt made modifications to the access agreement and presented it to the committee. Several additional changes were suggested to the access agreement.
Judge Medd moved that the agreement be approved with the changes discussed and attached to Policy 215 and sent to the Supreme Court.
Ted Gladden second the motion
Discussion: Kurt indicated that several entities have requested access to UCIS and that they have been asked to wait for the outcome of this agreement. He indicated his desire to move forward with the use of the agreement prior to its adoption by the Supreme Court. It was suggested that it be used with the understanding that it has not been adopted.
The motion passed. Kurt is to make the changes and send the agreement with Policy 215 to the Supreme Court.
Word Processing Standards
As directed at the March meeting, Kurt presented the information regarding the quantities of Word and WordPerfect currently being used by the Judicial Districts.
Discussion indicated that several districts want to upgrade their current versions of Word but the purchases haven't been made, pending clarification of the committee's position regarding a standardized word processor.
Discussion also included the merits of requiring a single word processor as the standard and the benefits of being on a current version.
Kurt mentioned that software developers such as those working on the Juvenile System tend to write the software to use Word for the interactive forms because they feel Word allows them flexibility that WordPerfect does not allow. Also mentioned was that a single word processor is easier to support than 2 different brands are.
Judge Medd moved that the committee recommend a policy of using either word processor pending the approval of the director of technology.
Fay McIntyre second the motion.
Discussion indicated several members were opposed to the motion because it allows each judge or district to decide what software and version to use without regard to statewide standards. It was felt that the committee did not have enough information to make an informed decision.
Justice Sandstrom moved to substitute the current motion with a motion stating that the districts requesting the upgrades be allowed to upgrade only their existing MS Word licenses to a current version if necessary and appropriate and if funds are available.
Penny Miller second the motion.
Discussion included that the availability of funds be stressed.
The motion passed.
Additional discussion on the issue indicated that Kurt should find the original policy on word processing standards and present it for the next meeting.
Y2K: Kurt briefly updated the committee regarding the current Y2K status
Griggs County: Kurt mentioned that the IT department has concerns about the movement of Griggs county to SEJD. He indicated that the programming staff would need several weeks to provide for the data conversion and movement of this county. It was mentioned that Kurt should file his concerns with the Clerk of Court prior to the June 21 deadline.
Staffing Kurt informed the committee that the help desk operator, Terra, had accepted a position with another agency and that the part-time help desk operator was also looking for full-time, permanent work. Kurt expressed his concerns about high turnover within that position and the detrimental effect it would have on support.
After some discussion, Judge Medd moved that the committee recommend to the Presiding Judges and the Supreme Court that if an FTE position at the trial court level became available, it be used to establish a permanent FTE with the Technology Department.
Ted Gladden second the motion.
The motion passed.
The meeting was adjourned by the chair.
The next meeting is scheduled for September 24, 1999 at 1:00 PM.