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A Plan for the Federal Courts CM ECF

NCSC Court Technology Bulletin: “18F, a team within the General Services Administration(GSA), carried out an 11-week Path Analysis on the federal judiciary’s Case Management and Electronic Case Filesc(CM/ECF) system. Our research focused on user needs, business agility, organization and processes, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts’ (AO) culture and legal mandates. Our synthesis of the information we gathered from 100+ participants across 77+ sessions shows the pain points (i.e., specific problems users are experiencing) of the current state of CM/ECF:

  • Unsatisfactory user experiences for both internal CM/ECF and external Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) users.
  • Court business needs are not being met, resulting in 200+ software versions with many local modifications.
  • Although nearly all courts have upgraded to the Next Generation of CM/ECF (NextGen) or signed up to do so, more than50courtshave not yet gone live on NextGen.
  • The foundational technology is outdated and some components are becoming obsolete; it is not sustainable.
  • Decentralization and complexity are causing system instability, high maintenance costs and security risks.
  • Current contracts make it difficult to hold contractors accountable to quality standards…”

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