back to article Brit spending watchdog questions where savings will come from in court digitisation reforms

Another week, another damning report about Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service's (HMCTS) modernisation programme – this time from UK government spending watchdog the Public Accounts Committee. HMCTS is now three years into its ambitious £1.2bn programme to modernise the courts, which plan to change the way people access …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    It will cost the UK

    Part of the so called savings are down to off-shoreing to data/call centers in India.

    1) think of the data protection issues. I doubt that HMCTS have done this properly

    2) this will cause job & skill losses in the UK, but I doubt that HMCTS care as the income tax loss & extra benefits are different departments

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Re: It will cost the UK

      Agreed,

      But costs like this wont appear on the bean counters bottom line and HMRC certainly dosnt care who handles your data.

      The practise of offshoring handling of sensitive and financial data should have been outlawed long ago and put more bums on seats in the UK, the price of that is worth paying IMO.

      1. NeilPost Bronze badge

        Re: It will cost the UK

        The practice of offshoring data - whilst not banned - is supposed to be restricted/safeguarded by EU/UK law.

        https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/international-transfers/

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The benefits of this, if any, should come form improvements in quality. Does it bring things to court faster ("justice delayed is justice denied")? Does it reduce the risk of a miscarriage of justice? Does it avoid the waste of time in bringing witnesses, counsel and defendants to court and then sending them back again because for one reason or another the court can't go ahead that day?

    1. IntentionallyBlank

      Judicial Efficiencies

      Doctor Syntax,

      If I may address each of your three questions in order:

      1. No

      2. No

      3. No

      Slightly longer answers, involving unreliable systems impacting timelines, reductions in Legal Aid (not strictly part of these 'efficiencies', I know) resulting in a rise in Litigants in Person and a rise in 'cracked' cases due to insufficient resource at the CPS, are available

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Judicial Efficiencies

        Follow @BarristerSecret on Twitter for interesting insight into the current problems in the court system. The chair of the Justice Committee says that the system is currently strained to breaking. Lots of places >1yr to get a date in a court's diary, legal aid denied to children. The system is breaking, and further cuts are not going to make it better - particularly when combined with the Govmts famously good Bit-IT implementations...

        1. shawnfromnh

          Re: Judicial Efficiencies

          Best way to lower crime is stiff sentences for dangerous criminals so they are out of the system for decades if necessary and lower taxes and more jobs and lower taxes does create more jobs. So basically get the criminals off the street and fix the economy.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: Judicial Efficiencies

            Prison sentences are not deterrents. Rehabilitation is the only way to bring repeat offending down, and preventing the initial criminal offence is down to improving our cultural behaviours towards eachother. Is it a coincidence that a significant cut in youth activity funding had happened in the names of austerity and youth crime rates have jumped?

            Improving the lives of youths in deprived areas is what should be funded, not bigger prisons to lock them away in. Give them opportunities, not restrictions.

          2. Spike of Bayswater

            Re: Judicial Efficiencies

            Whilst a fascinating insight into your political prejudices and complete ignorance of criminology, you should remove your ideological blinkers and absorb the fact that civil courts are involved - so, to cite one instance involving a mate of mine, a utility can sue you in a court 100 miles away from you and county court closures mean delay for 16 months before the case can be heard at a court a mere 50 miles away. Then it loses.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Judicial Efficiencies

        @IntentionallyBlank

        The things I listed were all problems in non-computerised courts more than 30 years ago.

        When you think about it courts process a lot of data. Scheduling is a particular problem. These are issues that IT could help with and should be KPIs but I suspect that being a government project only costs are looked at and only the last of them is likely to be easily captured in that way.

  3. MrReynolds2U

    which of the Crapita-type companies is involved in this shit-show?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      I expect several of them have a snout in the trough. Sorry, beg your pardon, I mean a vested interest in the success of improving justice and transparency for all.

  4. shawnfromnh

    You need paper to keep a non changable with keystrokes records and evidence. This is garbage.

    It's not the cost that worries me it's the security end. If someone can delete something it's gone but you have to access the room with the paperwork to remove it, also you have the problem if a super rich person is being indicted and the evidence is all paperwork then the right bribe or hack and the evidence disappears or the entire system is encrypted beyond fixing. Yeah, it's like digital voting, not trustworthy and paper is the only way to have a real record.

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