While it is true that California’s court system handles a huge caseload, it boggles the mind that a Statewide Computerized Case Management System should cost $2 billion!
Projected in 2004, the AOC’s earliest available cost estimate for the system was $260 million, an amount that grew substantially to $1.9 billion based on the AOC’s January 2010 estimate. Over the same period, complete deployment to the superior courts has been postponed by seven years, from fiscal year 2008–09 to fiscal year 2015–16. However, the $1.9 billion estimate fails to include costs that the superior courts have already incurred to implement the interim versions—which they reported to us as costing nearly $44 million—as well as the unknown but likely significant costs that superior courts will incur to implement CCMS.
And just how useless is this $2 billion software boondoggle?
Interestingly, in response to our survey of the 51 superior courts that do not use an interim system, 18 superior courts said that their
existing case management systems are currently meeting all of their needs. In replying to another question, 32 of the 51 superior
courts reported that their existing systems will serve them for the foreseeable future. Of particular concern is that just 12 of these
51 superior courts that do not use an interim system submitted responses that were generally positive about CCMS or that did not
discuss potential challenges associated with CCMS deployment. Many of the remaining 39 superior courts expressed uncertainty about the statewide case management project. For instance, the Superior Court of Kern County (Kern) reported that it perceives no benefit to the AOC’s plan to replace Kern’s current systems with CCMS and that it would refuse implementation as currently proposed.
This ‘CCMS’ is nothing more than what web programmers call a Content Management System, or ‘CMS’. CMS is a mature Web 2.0 technology. In this day and age of off-the-shelf CMS and Cloud Computing, it is inconceivable that Deloitte Consulting might receive $2 billion for this technology.