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COTS PROJECT REORGANIZES FOR MOVE INTO NEW PHASE

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Now that implementation of civil case management has been completed, the Judicial Branch is assessing how best to move forward with the criminal and Family Court phases of the new case management system. In order to facilitate this process, the Supreme Court has adopted a modified COTS governance structure. According to Justice Henry duPont Ridgely, “The new governance structure establishes a framework that will help us achieve successful criminal and Family Court case management systems within cost and time limitations.”

The new structure will provide for major policy decisions and overall project oversight to be undertaken by a Project Leadership Team (PLT) chaired by Justice Henry duPont Ridgely and comprised of the chief judges of each of the courts, as well as the state court administrator.

Reporting to the PLT, a new Trial Courts COTS Committee (TCCC) has been charged with evaluating all possible approaches for meeting the courts’ criminal case management and Family Court’s civil case management needs. Chaired by Justice of the Peace Court Administrator Marianne Kennedy the TCCC is comprised of the court administrators and others from each of the trial courts (except Chancery), and involves others, such as the Office of the Attorney General and the Public Defender, as needed. Finally, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) serves in a technical advisory role, overseeing technical project planning, implementation and oversight to carry out PLT and TCCC policy and procedural directions. This committee is also chaired by Marianne Kennedy and is composed of AOC staff members and representatives of DTI and DELJIS.

As project manager, Cheryl Kingston, along with other members of the AOC, will serve as staff to each of the committees.

Focusing on the criteria of cost, functionality, time frame, user confidence, and interface requirements, the TAC and TCCC are currently reviewing various approaches to implementation of the criminal and Family Court case management systems. It is anticipated that a final decision on the approach to be taken will be made within the next few months. In addition, the COTS effort has focused on modifying the courts’ current case management system to ensure that it works with the State of Delaware’s new financial system, among other ongoing initiatives.

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