A case management system (CMS) developed by an all-Filipino IT company is being seen as a template that will resolve the Philippine judiciary’s congested dockets.
The CMS, called CMIS 2.0, developed by local IT company Ideyatech, is now installed at the Court of Appeals (CA).
According to Ideyatech, the CMIS 2.0 has been widely accepted as a success for the Philippine judiciary. Foreign dignitaries who have visited the appellate court were impressed on the impact of the system on the court and its management.
The CMS project was aimed at stepping up the appellate court’s efforts to unclog its packed dockets. Said project was undertaken two years ago under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) as the implementing arm. The ABA-ROLI is a non-profit program established in 2007 that aims to advocate legal reforms in more than 40 countries.
Allan C. Tan, Ideyatech president and chief executive officer, said one of the reasons for the project’s success was putting the end-users in mind every step of the way.
“We involved all the users during the development of the system, from the records clerk up to the CA’s Presiding Justice,” he said, referring to Justice Andres Reyes. Tan added that by involving them and listening to their feedback, they felt a sense of ownership of the system. “This approach made CMIS 2.0 easier for them to use,” Tan said.
According to Tan, they focused on user interface design such that the CMIS 2.0 was not only made easy and personalized for the individual users, but also intuitive and fun to use. “Unlike traditional systems with numerous fields for data entry, CMIS 2.0 is designed to be intuitive and fun to use, reducing the stress suffered by the clerks in their daily task of recording and monitoring case details,” Tan noted.
Tan said the CMIS 2.0 is a streamlined version of CA’s old CMS. He said the CMIS 2.0 offered more benefits to the CA, including better court management through real-time dashboard and report.
“The Presiding Justice can easily view the performance of all 68 Associate Justices as well as identify cases that are taking a long time to resolve,” Tan said. He also explained that most features of the CMIS 2.0 were designed to help court personnel reduce their workload thereby allowing them to work more efficiently. “This leads to better time management and faster time to resolve cases,” he added.
The CMIS 2.0 shall be reviewed on a regular basis and improved accordingly to provide better public service, according to Tan.
Recently, Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, who spoke about judicial reforms in the country, has acknowledged that the CA-CMIS could be used as a template for case management systems nationwide. According to Carpio, the system could help in decongesting court cases in the Philippines’ justice system as he spoke before the Central Luzon Regional Convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on June 29, 2012.
Owing to the increased efficiency at the appellate court, according to Ideyatech, CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes has estimated that by the end of 2012, the court should be able to comply with the constitutional directive that appellate cases be decided within 12 months from the date of submission for resolution.
The constitution prescribes that cases should ideally be decided not more than 24 months for the Supreme Court; not more than 12 months for all other appellate courts; and not more than three months for all other lower courts from the date of submission for resolution.
Reference: ALLAN C. TAN