The report “Efficiency of Summary Courts,” issued by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) on Tuesday, 3rd December evaluated the efficiency of processing Summary Court cases.
The report reviewed how Judicial Administration was performing, used its resources, and its relationships with other justice partners and court users. The Auditor General also reviewed plans for the redevelopment of the court house to assess the value for money from the proposed investment.
“The need for a new court house is not in question as the current court facilities are not fit for purpose.” says Ms. Winspear. “However, the Outline Business Case for the project is still in draft form and there are a number of significant gaps in the information presented. For example, there is no recent analysis of current and future workload that justifies the need for the number of court rooms being proposed. This makes it very difficult to assess the value for money from the proposed investment at this stage.”
The report states that Judicial Administration does not have performance measures in place to manage or improve the Summary Court system.
“Judicial Administration has limited performance information and does not use the information available to understand, manage or improve its performance.” Ms. Winspear adds. “In addition, Judicial Administration does not record its expenditure by type of court, despite the budget being set in this way, or calculate the cost per case. The lack of performance and financial information means that is difficult to assess the overall efficiency and effectiveness of Summary Courts or Judicial Administration.”
The report highlights that Judicial Administration is in the process of upgrading its Information Technology system, which has the potential to improve the efficiency of operations.
The Auditor General adds, “We found a number of inefficiencies in the system and some of these could be resolved through better use of technology. The current upgrade of the IT systems has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of Summary Courts by introducing online payments, e-ticketing and electronic court scheduling.”
More information about the report can be obtained by contacting Sue Winspear at (345) 244-3201 or Angela Cullen, Director of Performance Audit at (345) 244-3220.
This report and the original OAG reports on which this report is based are available at www.auditorgeneral.gov.ky.