COURT TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE September 26, 2008
Members Participating Dale Sandstrom, Chair Becky Absey Rita Fischer William Herauf Sally Holewa Joel Medd Penny Miller Daniel Narum Frank Racek Donna Wunderlich
Guests Brandi Fagerland, Large Project Oversight Analyst for ITD Jim Gienger, Project Manager for UCIS Replacement Project Dorothy Howard, Member of the Operations Oversight Group Rod Olson, Member of the Operations Oversight Group Allan Schmalenberger, Chair of the Operations Oversight Group
Staff Jerrold Arneson, Interim Director of Technology Todd Becker, Network Analyst Don Wolf, Director of Finance
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
Approval of Minutes Minutes from August 27, 2008 were reviewed. Judge Herauf moved/Donna Wunderlich
seconded that the minutes be approved. Motion carried.
Recommendation on Contract with Tyler Technologies, Inc. Chair Sandstrom opened the discussion by outlining concerns that ITD has raised regarding
the time and materials (T & M) portion of the proposed contract. Brandi Fagerland explained
that ITD was concerned about the risks for cost overruns that are presented by a T & M
contract. She said the state has a preference for contracts that are fully fixed-price and has
shown a willingness to pay for increased costs in order to get the fixed-price. She said the
state understands that this increases the overall cost because the vendor is assuming most of
the risk. She stated that the average increase is around 20% of the total cost.
Sally Holewa explained that we are able to get a fixed-price on 70% of the contract costs, as
well as a cap on the contract of $5.75 million, but we have not pursued a full fixed-price
contract because of uncertainty over the division of responsibilities for data conversion and
interfaces, and because the type and quantity of configuration tables, local enhancement
options, and travel are unknown and cannot be known until the planning phase of the contract
Brandi Fagerland suggested that the court enter into two separate, fixed-price contracts with
Tyler Technologies, with the first contract covering Phase 0 of the project, and the second
covering actual implementation of the system. Judge Narum observed that the court would
lose its bargaining strength once it completes Phase 0. Justice Sandstrom raised the concern
that we would be nearly finished with the legislative session by the time Phase 0 is
completed, and it is unlikely that the legislature would entertain a late request to add money
to the court's budget.
Judge Racek stated that he had read the proposed contract and has no concerns about it
except for the short-time allocated for Phase 0 and reiterated the need for high-level analysis
of current business practices in order to make the best use of the Tyler system functionality.
Jim Gienger suggested we reconsider the time requirements as part of Phase 0.
Judge Racek moved that the Court Technology Committee recommend to the Chief Justice
that the Supreme Court approve the contract in its current form, subject to an agreement
being reached on compensation. The motion died for lack of a second.
Sally Holewa explained that Tyler Technologies is unwilling to enter into a fixed-price
contract because they do not want to operate under that business model. They have not given
a fixed-price contract to any of their other customers and are wary of setting a precedent with
North Dakota that would lead them toward that model.
Discussion turned to alternative vendors in the event that Tyler walks away from contract
negotiations. There are no other web-based products on the market. ACS is the nearest
competitor to Tyler, and their AgileCourt product is at least two years away from
deployment. If we are unable to reach an agreement with Tyler Technologies, we will have
no choice except to shelve the UCIS replacement project indefinitely.
After further discussion, it was the consensus of the committee that the court discontinue
discussions with Tyler Technologies if they are unwilling to sign a fixed-price contract.
Approval of IT Budget for 2009-2011 Don Wolf reviewed the components of the IT budget. The overall budget shows an increase
of $6,625,981 dollars. Of this increase, $6.16 million, is directly attributable to the cost to
replace UCIS. Other increases are related to increased fees charged by ITD and increased
software costs. Costs related to audio-visual are down because we have not been able to meet
the aggressive installation schedule that was set in the past.
Judge Herauf moved/Rita Fischer seconded that the Court Technology Committee
recommend that the Supreme Court adopt the proposed IT budget, with the understanding
that changes to the contract with Tyler Technologies may require changes to the budget.
For the Good of the Order Sally Holewa announced the Larry Zubke has been hired as the Director of Technology. Mr.
Zubke comes to the court with thirty years of private sector and public sector IT experience.
His first day will be October 20, 2008.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
The next meeting of the Court Technology Committee will be scheduled as needed to review
the Tyler contract.