Judicial Wars: Judges Battle In Daily Journal Over CCMS

If you picked up a copy of the Daily Journal today and turned to page 7 to the Letters to the Editor section you would have seen a really interesting “fight” among three people over the true value of CCMS.

In the pro-CCMS corner there’s Judicial Council spokesperson Phillip R. Carrizosa who wrote the editor of the Daily Journal contesting some of the comments made by Judge Loren McMaster of Sacramento. In his letter Mr. Carrizosa trumpets the glory of CCMS and states that Judge McMaster had misled readers as the only court that had any problems with CCMS was Judge McMaster’s.

In the con-CCMS corner response Judge McMaster sent in a respone to Carrizosa stating that Mr. Carrizosa had it “backwards” when it came to relating what really happened in Sacramento when it was among the chosen to put CCMS through its paces.

As a counter to Judge McMaster’s assertion that CCMS is not working and that the AOC and Deloitte, the contractor handling its creation, are not taking input from the very people that will have to use the system, the Daily Journal also printed a letter from Judge Glen M. Reiser of Ventura who gives a detailed description of how the computer system works for him.

I’m going to post all three letters here which you can read after the jump for your analysis.

Letters Sent In To Daily Journal About CCMS

The January 20 opinion piece, “New Computer System is Trouble Laden,” by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster incorrectly faults a developing statewide case managements system for problems that have occurred only in his court. The interim version of the California Case Management System (CCMS) he writes about was installed in six courts, including Sacramento. Five of the six courts, including Sacramento, were involved in the design of the application from its inception through the current maintenance and support efforts. Unlike the other courts, Sacramento chose to deploy the system on its own and only engage the services of the CCMS deployment vendor where they felt it was needed.

As a result, the court developed significant problems with its system that the other courts are not experiencing and last July, the court asked the Administrative Office of the Courts for assistance. The AOC sent a team of experts to discuss the court’s concerns and the team spent time with six of the judges who were using CCMS, including Judge McMaster. Some 36 issues were raised. Most of them – 29 – involved local court issues. Only seven would require CCMS enhancements.

The AOC sent the court an in-depth report in November outlining the steps Sacramento needs to take to resolve their issues and to use the system effectively. The presiding judge and the CEO thanked the AOC for its work and guidance. Sacramento now needs to take the next step and develop a plan to implement the report’s findings. The backlog referred to by Judge McMaster existed prior to the development of CCMS but only became apparent when CCMS was deployed and the court – against recommendations – went paperless, which required the court to scan all its documents.

Judge McMaster and other critics of CCMS are fond of repeatedly contending that the system costs about $1 million per judge. In fact, the system isn’t being built for judges alone. It’s being built for 37 million Californians. It’s being built so that courts can move out of the technological dark ages, share vital information with each other, with the public, and with other justice system partners, such as law enforcement and social service agencies. It’s a system being built to protect the public. Of course there will be problems as we move toward a statewide system. Like anything else, problems can be solved with the cooperative efforts of everyone involved.

PHILIP R. CARRIZOSA
JUDICIAL COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS

———————————-

Sacramento Used for Test Projects; Suggestions Ignored

AOC spokesperson Mr. Carrizosa faults Sacramento as the only court facing problems with CCMS. He fails to disclose that Sacramento was selected by AOC to do several test projects that other large counties were not required to do. These “tests” included going paperless, and the use of an out-of-state location for its data base, causing CCMS to run much slower in Sacramento than elsewhere.

Sacramento staff took part in CCMS design and presented Sacramento’s minimum requirements, some taken from our own program designed by Sacramento IT staff. AOC and its no-bid, sole source contractor, Deloitte, largely ignored these requirements.

Sacramento is blamed for not hiring Deloitte (at a multi-million dollar cost) to assist in deployment. That decision, as well as the decision to go paperless, was made by our then CEO, who is now an AOC Regional Director. Financial issues also played a role.

Mr. Carrizosa has it backwards; Sacramento did not plead for AOC assistance last July. Rather, our court demanded that AOC and Deloitte fix their dismal program, or risk our dropping further participation in CSMS. The “experts” were embarrassed when their demonstration was a failure, due to the slowness of CCMS.

The experts finally met with me and law and motion staff, after ignoring us for five years. They were shown the many “work-arounds” necessitated by CCMS design problems, which double staff workload. The faulty CCMS design precludes law and motion judges from using it for the preparation of rulings or publishing that days’ calendar. We have no interest in regressing.

Many Sacramento employees are now declining to work further with AOC or Deloitte, expressing frustration that, in the words of one employee, staff were left with “the impression that we court employees were just there to give rubber stamp approval to whatever Deloitte and the AOC wanted to do, not to offer constructive criticisms or suggest program improvements.”

Mr. Carrizosa seeks to deflect focus from CCMS problems by trotting out a bogus public safety argument. A system is in place (CLETS) that law enforcement personnel and judges use to check for warrants and restraining orders. If that system needs an upgrade, then upgrade it. To use public safety as an argument to justify CCMS is cynical and misleading.

AOC has posted an “RFI,” seeking outside money for CCMS. Perhaps reality is setting in – taxpayers will not pay to clean up this mess.

LOREN E. MCMASTER
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
SACRAMENTO COUNTY

———————————————–

Proposed System Will Allow Judges to Be Better Informed

Following the January 20 article “New Computer System is Trouble Laden” by Judge Loren E. McMaster, I would like to clarify the record relative to any misinformed and misguided criticism of the California Case Management System.

I have been using the “V3” version of the California Case Management System (CCMS) in my courtroom, every day, many times each day, for more than two years. Though originally developed to efficiently manage a court clerk’s office, a “Judicial Officer” portal was added to “V3” to allow my colleagues and I to efficiently conduct judicial business electronically.

“V3” is amazingly simple for a judge to operate. The first page of the “Judicial Officer” screen is a standard daily calendar, populated with each category of calendar events set on a particular day, by time. A single mouse click takes me to the particular “basket” of cases I need to hear; a click on a particular case in the opened “basket” opens up the electronic file for that case. It therefore takes only two clicks to open up a court file.

When the calendar event is a civil motion, a menu opens up, offering “tentative rulings;” “research notes;” “comments” and “JO notes.” At a minimum, “real time” analysis from the legal research department will have been previously uploaded into the second menu item. From my “tentative ruling” screen I prepare my own tentative rulings, often “cut and pasted” into the screen from applicable statutory or case law. My tentative ruling is sent to the Internet via the Court’s public Web site by clicking “publish.”

With any file open, a third click opens up a docket/register of actions, in which each filing is identified with reference to the exact minute it was received. From that point, “V3” has the capability of opening any particular document in .pdf format with only one more click. In counties with document management (“imaging”) systems and third party electronic service (“e-filing”) providers in place, all filed documents will have an electronic image; in those counties where a document management system is still being vetted, all internally generated documents including notices, minute orders and probate investigative reports are still loaded instantly into the system in .pdf format when first generated.

Because all of this information is delivered instantly on my courtroom laptop and in-chambers PC; augmented by Lexis Nexis (or WestLaw) tools on one screen and proposed orders through courtroom e-mail on another, virtually all judicial business in my courtroom can and is being handled electronically.

At trial, exhibit lists from counsel received electronically in Microsoft Word format are directly uploaded into the “trial exhibit” portion of the “V3” software, where they are converted to an Excel trial exhibit spreadsheet.

While “V3” makes my job infinitely easier, its benefits pale in comparison to the proposed “V4,” extending to all case types and allowing public access through the proposed statewide California courts electronic “portal.” I am obviously a huge proponent of CCMS, which, in the final analysis, makes me a better informed judge and therefore, a better judge.

GLEN M. REISER
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
VENTURA COUNTY

Advertisements

38 responses to “Judicial Wars: Judges Battle In Daily Journal Over CCMS

  1. I’ve heard the Daily Journal made a multimillion-dollar investment in the case management systems now in use in several courts in the state, so the failure of CCMS would financially benefit the Daily Journal. Maybe that’s why they’re so down on it.

  2. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    I like Mr. Carrizosa’s approach. It isn’t a million dollars per judge, it’s only a little more than $47.00 for every man, woman and child in the state of California!

    annonymous:- While Daily Journal Corporation does own sustain technologies. Their reporting on CCMS (the world’s most expensive publicly funded software program) has thus far been beyond reproach and is balanced.

    I would ask Judge Reiser one simple question – where does his data repository reside?

    In his courthouse or at the CCTC in Tempe because that is going to make all of the difference in the world and is something he did not touch on – that Judge McMaster did.

  3. It’s interesting that you made that point, anon.
    The AOC “Enews” did the exact same thing today, to all members of the branch who subscribe, by putting a little dig in there basically accusing the Daily Journal of being dishonest. Fine strategy, I’d say, going out of their way to alienate the largest legal newspaper in the state.

    The ENews is the AOC’s clipping service, sent out daily to anyone in the judiciary who asks to subscribe. They used to just sort of play it straight. Recently they have been using it to push their positions, putting little editorial blurbs along with the headlines they don’t like. I remember when they described an article on their pay raises as “Distorted and unfair” or something. (I’ve been meaning to thank them for this quite valuable service–saves us even having to consider these stories when the AOC is there to digest and critique the stories in advance for us). Heck, we’re only judges and might not have our minds right without this sort of assistance.

    Here’s what the AOC printed today, for example:
    __________________________________
    “Statewide Case Management System Stirs Up Mixed Reactions — Philip R. Carrizosa, Judicial Council of California/Administrative Office of the Courts, Daily Journal

    Editor’s Note: The Daily Journal deleted the following paragraph from the letter submitted for publication:

    On another note, it does a disservice to your readers that the Daily Journal Company has not revealed the full extent of its own multimillion-dollar investment in its Sustain case management systems now in use in several courts in the state, or that the failure of CCMS would financially benefit the Daily Journal Corporation. Only with full disclosure will your readers be able to assess whether your reporting on CCMS is as accurate as it should be and whether your decision to run op-ed opinions on CCMS is as fair as possible.”
    ________________________________

    Now, here’s the editorial I’d like to see the AOC write: CCMS A BARGAIN AT $1.7. BILLION OR MORE. That’s one I don’t even think they could write. Perhaps a consultant could be tasked with the job.

  4. AllianceSupporter

    The bottom line is that $402 million has been taken from the Trial Court Trust Fund, without the consent of the trial courts, to subsidize and fund CCMS. The system is trouble-laden, beset with debacles over the eight years of its development, has no end in sight and is being shopped for financial support. The projected expenditure of $1.7 billion (probably an optimistic figure given latest estimates) is unconscionable in light of the California budget crisis. Equally outrageous is the expenditure of taxpayer funds in the AOC production of a fluff piece video to promote this system. Can someone explain why the AOC thinks that having “a bluprint of 18,000 pages” and 222 court employees working to develop the program is something to boast about?

    Furthermore, Bill Vickrey has been quoted as justifying the $20,000 raise to each of the three AOC Regional Managers because “two of them had offers from Superior Courts to hire them away for a much higher salary.” Can anyone identify the trial courts (whose rank and file employees are absorbing pay cuts, furlough days and layoffs) with the cash to lure away these highly-paid (c. $200,000/year) employees?

  5. Real Party in Interest

    Why is the AOC putting someone — other than Ms. Calabro — in the unfortunate position of defending a troubled statewide IT endeavor and injecting himself (or trying to arbitrate) between separate trial courts? This is a tact of AOC management that I find particularly offensive — underlings repeatedly get thrown in the line of fire. Why someone at his level is even offering editorials is strange … his opinions are meaningless. If he is speaking for Ms. Calabro, shouldn’t she be writing the editorials, not him? If he is speaking for himself, who cares?

  6. Real Party in Interest: It is interesting that Mr. Carrizosa does not disclose his position at the AOC as part of the Office of Communications Unit (aka, “spin doctors”). As such, it is his unfortunate duty to produce PR pieces like the one that appears in the Daily Journal. You can bet, however, that well before his letter was forwarded to the Daily Journal, it was reviewed, edited, and revised by his superiors at the AOC, though they had not the courage to add their names. Throwing rank and filers to the dogs has, as you suggest, long been the AOC way. Why have the big shots handle the dirty work when there are others lower on the food chain to do it.

    • AllianceSupporter

      In addition to Mr. Carrizosa, the AOC is now employing another “AOC spokesperson” who is mounting a media campaign promoting courthouse construction. She is Teresa Ruano, who identifies herself as a “communications specialist for the AOC”; her Linked page claims “I provide communications counsel to the group charged with managing the more than 500 courthouses in California, and with an unprecidented, 5 billion courthouse rebuilding program.”
      Ms. Ruano was quoted in a December 2009 news article as saying “The basic purpose was to shift the governance of the courts to the state. It was the final step of the unification of the courts .” Ms. Ruano might want to check with her employers about the Government Code, which still vests governance of the trial courts at the local level. Last summer’s aborted legislation to impose statewide governance is again rearing its head.

  7. Who needs to buy MAD MAGAZINE when you can go to the Letters to the Editor section of the Daily Journal and read the latest from the AOC about CCMS?

    Mr. Carrizoca, who was the editor of his high school year book and then got degrees in journalism and the law, and who is now a Senior Communications Specialist for the AOC is the latest sacrificial lamb. He is similar to Justice Huffman, Justice Hill, Mr. Keslo, Mr Overholt and Mr. Vickrey in that he knows no more about computer systems and their cost than you or I or the average customer at Radio Shack.

    Did not a previous blogger suggest the “Billion Dollar Challenge” : go to some respected universities or other institutions of higher learning and contact faculty members who specialize in computer science. Go also to some big companies such as Home Depot or Kaiser and ask the head of their computer services to examine CCMS and answer these two questions: what should CCMS cost? How long should it take to establish CCMS in all of the California Courts? It would seem to Omerta that Senior Communications Specialist Carrizosa should have no difficulty in making such contacts. Why won’t the AOC give us and the public confidence in their opinions by doing this?

    Instead of obtaining an opinion from a source who is not in any way connected to the AOC, CCMS or the Courts they have apparently enlisted Judge Reiser of Ventura to tell us about the wonders of CCMS. Was it not impressive to find out that he can use”one stroke” to get so much done? What the judge does not discuss is whether or not the advantages of CCMS are worth $1,000.000.00 , per court, to him and to the taxpayers of this state.

    Omerta wonders where Ms. Calabro could be in all of this. After all her services were so valuable in 2009 that she has been given a $20,000.00 pay raise. Omerta thinks he/she knows the answer. If you saw her performance at the Legislative Hearing in October you know why she has a low profile. As she was sparing with Assemblyman DeLaTorre even Justice Huffman appeared to be ill just listening to her. She may well be the best expert in the AOC on CCMS but can they put her in the public forum?

    The AOC knows CCMS was a no-bid contract and that it is far more expensive than they ever thought it would be and is being deployed much slower than they ever envisioned. They are scared of the taxpayer’s reaction. They should be scared. Very scared.

  8. Fascinating! Omerta notes Phil’s journalism experience, JoshMadisonn notes Phil is in a spin unit, RealPartyInInterest notes Phil has been injected into the fray, etc. But do any of you know what his job was just before he went to the AOC? I do. When I talked to him a while back about CCMS, it was, “You remember me, don’t you Richard?” “Sure, Phil. You were …..”

    It’s time to cut to the chase. Anyone ready for a solution instead of just jawing about CCMS?

    A good system that is fast and easy to use and can provide judges with data from other courts and associated justice agences should cost about $1,000 per judge. It could be created in prototype form in days (for FREE) and fully done in weeks, with good coperation. I left a message with Senator Steinberg’s office offering to help. Let’s see if they call back.

  9. As I read through what was written by both Judge Reiser and Judge McMaster, I noted that various items sprinkled throughout their descriptions had tremendous technological significance. I could explain all that, get embroiled in endless debates with people who have little technology knowledge, and waste endless amounts of time, getting nowhere.

    I think I will simply defer all that until after I get the opportunity (assuming I ever do) to demonstrate what can be done. There’s no point in trying to explain the technology in words and concepts that most of the listeners simply won’t understand. And those who support CCMS and think they understand the technology will simply argue. Forever. And the public, taxpayers, those in charge of the money, etc. will not benefit. Those who have thrown the money away will simply side with the supporters of CCMS and claim loudly that I just don’t understand, can’t possibly comprehend the complexities of CCMS, don’t know what I’m talking about, am probably crazy, etc.

    The answer lies in a demonstration. Like Galileo dropping the heavy object and the light object and noting they hit the ground at the same time. THEN I can try to explain it all, because then I will at least have everyone’s attention. And, at that point, the technology explanations probably won’t matter because the end-users will just use the inexpensive, easy to use software, and get on with life, not caring about the complex technology explanation. The only people still arguing would be those who threw away money on CCMS and those legislators seeking to score points on behalf of taxpayers as they castigate people involved in CCMS for being fools.

    I have been through something like this before. The “experts” told me I couldn’t possibly do what I described. Richard, you don’t understand. Do you know how complicated this is to do? Etc., Etc. When I did it, and it worked, a programmer (who had loudly professed about what an “expert” he was, etc.) became very quiet as he stood behind me watching my laptop computer digest the data and process it correctly almost instantaneously. You see, he was “programmer” and I was just some dumb lawyer.

    He couldn’t for the life of him figure out what I had done to create an application that addressed a hugely complex mathematical/statistical problem and produced easy to use software that came up with an easy to read display of results, was easy to use, and ran on an ordinary laptop computer at blinding speed. When I started to explain, my wife stopped me. She thought the guy was an arrogant #@%^!! and didn’t want me to give away any programming secrets. So I didn’t.

    The software involved has been sold to a wide variety of people, some of whom can barely run their computers. And yet, no one has ever found a single bug in the code, no one has ever had an “insoluble” problem, and very few have ever even called for tech help. And some even asked if the software could do things that I hadn’t even addressed in the User’s Manual. I realized it could and wrote instructions on how to perform certain additional (in some cases almost bizarre) processing functions.

    This is what is possible for the courts and associated justice agencies, and at minimal cost. And the whole damn thing could be up and running in lickety split time.

    So, are you ready for a demonstration? If so, lean on Senator Steinberg, Assemblyman De La Torre, Assemblywoman Strickland, and/or your local legislators. Blogging may be fun, but it’s not going to solve the CCMS problem.

  10. ConcernedReConsolidation

    Richard/ComputerGeek: We have all heard this over and over. Please spare us the repeats and the critiques of those who are not doing what you want.

  11. Yes, seriously…/facepalm

  12. Discussion time is over. It’s time to drop the heavy object and the light object from the Tower of Pisa.

    Or, just watch as CCMS implodes the judicial branch of government.

  13. I would like the AOC or anyone else who may have the information to answer the following questions.

    As of February 4, 2010, does the AOC have the funds necessary to deployCCMS?

    If so, can you identify the source(s) of funding?
    Would any of the funds identified be available for non-CCMS court related operations over the next 3 fiscal years?
    How much?
    When did the AOC inform the JC the CCMS system would costs in excess of $1.0 billion?
    How did the AOC inform the JC the CCMS system would cost in excess of $1.0 billion?
    When did the JC specifically vote to approve CCMS at a cost in excess of $1.0 billion?
    When did the AOC first provide the JC with copies of the 2004 LAO report regarding the judicial branch’s statewide IT projects?

    I think if the AOC would provide candid, direct responses to these questions, it would go along way in re-establishing it credibility within the branch. Particularly if it admitted mistakes – very large mistakes, were made a long the way.

  14. Rumpelstiltskin

    Computer Geek,

    It’s very easy to talk the talk and very easy to put together a simulation of a case management system with cached data. It’s not easy to build a system with hundreds of people entering data and hundreds of people actually using it.

  15. Nathaniel Woodhull

    WBF,
    1. No.
    2. They didn’t. (twice)
    3. They didn’t.
    4. They didn’t.

    Without losing focus, Computer Geek I am sure can verify the fact that even if, and that’s a big if, the Deloitte folks can get one version of the CCMS system to work, like a few judges in Ventura claim V3 is working, the real issue is integration. V4 will never work. 523 people working on system development by definition means it won’t work. In 1987 a Fortune 250 company ceased to exist after management was sold on a national one-size-fits-all computer system. It was employed in a manner similar to CCMS and resulted in the 150+ offices and entities throughout the Country going by the wayside. This is the public version of that private failure.

    Professors in the Public Administration Departments of the major colleges and universities throughout the United States will make this the proposed topics for senior thesis’ for decades.

    • You are absolutely right. Having more than a few programmers involved in any one thread of code is a prescription for disaster. The best approach is one programmer per thread. Creating electronic court records is so simple that only one programmer is required. Multiple inputters (of business processes; one programmer; multiple testers.

    • P.S.
      And in a parallel vein, the graduate school at the University of Denver (Professor McCubbrey in particular) is currently using the Colorado Benefits Management System (the progreny of CalWIN – Cal Works Information Network, developed by EDS and Deloitte in California and currently approach the billion dollar level) as a teaching example of everything not to do in creating a data management system. At last count, CBMS (which already passed the quarter billion dollar mark in cost and went live in 2004) was making on average about 11,000 mistakes per month and the code to do it all correctly could be written in weeks.

      CCMS is a classic example of how to do virtually everything wrong, from failing to align all the potential end-using agencies at the base code level at the alpha stage of development, to failing to set up possible conversions, to using multiple programmers to design simple code, to failing to take into account numerous speed factors, to failing to take into account numerous advances in code writing, to you name it. I could write a huge book on all the things that were done wrong.

      As Judge Woodhull observes, CCMS will never get fixed. It will burn through about $8 Million per month until someone (probably in the Legislature) wakes up and puts a stop to it. If Darrell Steinberg says enough is enough and gives me a call, and arranges the necessary cooperation, I’ll write him demonstration code and have it up and running in a Northern California county in weeks, where he can take a leisurely jaunt from the Capital some day at lunch time to see it in action.

      Oh, and in my demonstration, not only will the software work for the court in question, I will demonstrate easy local inputs from multiple agencies, cross-agency (like police, sheriff, CDCR) access, instantanteous access by the court of another county’s court general descriptive court case data, quick access to detailed documents from other jurisdictions, all-electronic records including those documents produced by local attorneys, fast filing, totally electronic filing, and a whole pile of other features that will knock you off your chair.

      My wife has seen me write this kind of stuff and she will tell you that you would be an absolute fool to bet I couldn’t do it.

  16. Want to see the future of CCMS as a subject of derision and as a teaching tool at the university level? Look at http://profmcc.typepad.com/
    and http://profmcc.typepad.com/don_mccubbreys_blog/2009/05/more-on-cbms-can-you-believe-it.html.

  17. I don’t get why the AOC has Philip Carrizosa, who’s a stand-up guy, writing about CCMS. Anyone employed at the AOC can tell you that Philip has no direct connection to CCMS, so why would the brass have him writing letters to the editor on that subject?

    Unless?

    We all remember the AOCW posting from last December when Carrizosa’s no mincing words internal e-mail about broken AOC promises to the trial courts accidentally went public to embarrass the AOC. I’ve heard that Carrizosa and other current and former AOC employees blogged about that incident on Facebook, including how he’d been hauled before AOC executives for a tongue lashing over the mess up. Makes a person wonder if his recent letter to the Daily Journal wasn’t pushed on him, or some kind of penance. What other reason to write on something about which you have no experience?

    One thing’s for sure, Philip’s letter to the DJ makes AOC executives look like cowards.

  18. I couldn’t agree more with Judge Woodhull when he talks about the folly of designing/building a one-size-fits-all system. The genesis of CCMS was a new system for the large/very large trial courts in CA. As others on this blog have pointed out, and as I know from my experience working on the CCMS project, it was the large courts of CA who participated in the requirements and design sessions for the product. I never believed that CCMS could be implemented in the majority of courts in CA in an effective and efficient manner. Hubris is primarily responsible for the waste of taxpayer money. No third-party angel can rescue an effort managed by bureaucrats who know nothing about technology and a consulting firm who, in essence, has had a license to print money for the past 5+ years.

  19. Hubris…… or Kickbacks?

  20. Don’t think Ventura classifies as a “large court” and they participated in the design and are ardent defenders of both Vision and V3…

    • 007 – Ventura is a special case since Sheila was the court’s CEO. It was the Vision system that Sheila wanted to extend to become the statewide CMS system. You might want to speak with Fresno SC; I doubt that they would be an ardent defender of the V2 application that was forced on them by Sheila. Alameda and San Luis Obispo were also candidates for the V2 implementation, and significant tax dollars were wasted trying to push forward V2 implementations at these courts. Those courts were lucky in that the “forced feeding” of V2 failed. In the case of Fresno, their CMS application was dying, and V2 was deemed to be the lesser of the evils. Recommendations were made to AOC executives to upgrade Fresno’s existing CMS vendor application, but to no avail. How ridiculous is it to be spending vast amounts of taxpayer money on the support of an unstable application in one CA trial court? Bloggers on ths site have mentioned “kickbacks” more than once. I’d be interested in finding out more about the relationship between BearingPoint and Burbank senior management…

  21. Nathaniel Woodhull

    Cracks are becoming more evident. Apparently the AOC is moving costs of “enhancements” to the local court trying out the various versions of CCMS. “Enhancements” are attempts to fix problems experienced by the beta testing courts.
    Apparently some judges using the various versions of CCMS have been contacted by their PJs after voicing concerns about the system (e.g. it takes 10 minutes to input information about each hearing on calendar) and told to be quiet due to the political issues surrounding the system. Hmmm, so much for it works beautifully….

  22. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Ahhh yes. Call that 10 minute calendar entry a ‘feature’ and you get to charge to enhance it.

    Call that 10 minute calendar entry a bug and Deloitte might be responsible for fixing it for free, the AOC might have a tarnished reputation and we just couldn’t have that.

    Are they that desperate for money that they’re asking the trial courts to pay for both its exorbatant Deloitte deployment in the local courts AND bug fixes?

    All of this shakes the conscience that so many people would work so hard to not hold a vendor responsible and instead run the cash printing press just a little bit faster.

    I hope the legislature does flex some muscle and do some auditing – including surveying users of the various versions in private.

    This does not suprise me. With some courts they entered into MOU’s to assist steering work to the unlicensed contractors. ie if you wish to remodel, you will use our service providers (and not put it out to local public bid.) Our service providers will bid the work out and charge management fees and perfomance based guarantees on top of the price – allowing the contractors to sole source through their own vendors of choice. (at a cost of anywhere from 2 to 5 times the cost of putting it out to an open public bid) These MOU’s are a reason why lots of courts aren’t doing too much squeaking about the unlicensed contractors and why, in a super competitive environment that should serve to drive down costs it actually drives up costs due to the captive customer concept.

  23. Truth and Consequences

    Can someone post the text from the Daily Journal article that came out on Friday regarding the public-private partnership plan? It contains some shocking figures, like $1.75 billion to finish CCMS by some future date in the middle of this decade, and a bid of $900 million (!?!) from Deloitte to deploy V4.

    • “DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The world’s tallest skyscraper has unexpectedly closed to the public a month after its lavish opening…
      The precise cause of the $1.5 billion Dubai skyscraper’s temporary shutdown remained unclear.”

      That record-breaking structure cost less than the mythical CCMS. Still trying to wrap my head around that. But at least that project was actually completed and made a debut as something tangible. I guess that when money is no object, the sky’s the limit, even if you end up with something of questionable value in the end.

  24. Nathaniel Woodhull

    What a deal! $2+ billion for built-in obsolescence! I thought we were supposed to beware of the Military-Industrial-Complex?

  25. Real Party in Interest

    The Journal article says that a notice of intent was awarded to Deloitte (V4 deployment) but that no contract has been signed. I sincerely hope the RFI for public funding is not to pay for this amount of money. I do not know who else bid for V4 deployment, but if $900 million was the low bid, we are in more trouble than anyone could imagine.

  26. Truth and Consequences

    If you look at the Q and A’s for the V4 deployment RFP, you can see the lack of a clear plan or expectations. For example, this answer to a vendor question:

    Section 2.4.2 is not intended to imply that the vendor is responsible for procuring and paying for court hardware and software. If through the course of discussions and planning it is determined that having the vendor purchase equipment on behalf of the AOC is more beneficial, then the AOC may opt to do so. The vendor may pass the costs through to the AOC. There will be no holdback on such purchases. The AOC will release payment for such purchases based on receipt of invoice and physical inspection and acceptance of such equipment.

  27. Real Party in Interest

    I was curious so I looked up the potential vendors for V4 (see link). I don’t know if they all ultimately submitted bids, but I sincerly doubt that Deloitte had the lowest bid at $900 million (was that a typo in the DJ article, or was that the actual amount of the winning bid?).

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/rfp/documents/ccms-rfp-attend.pdf

  28. Name Withheld

    I believe that only Deloitte and SAIC bid on V4 deployment (I heard it was a $600 million bid by Deloitte, but others may know more specificity). It is also rumored that SAIC bid less than Deloitte. The contract negotiations fell apart with Deloitte when it became apparent that there would be no funding available to pay for a contract of that magnitude. Hence, the AOC has put out the current RFI to try and whip up some private funding, and there is no contract in place to deploy V4. At a certain point, Deloitte may simply cut and run.

    • Real Party in Interest

      To my knowledge, the DJ figure of a $900 million bid by Deloitte to deploy V4 has not been denied or corrected by anyone. I think it’s clear by now that the current leadership standing behind Deloitte has selected and moved them forward at any price.

  29. I got my Monday Daily Recorder late – yesterday – and finally had a chance to read the entire article in detail concerning the $900 Million deployment. Did everyone catch the new 2016 end date for CCMS?

    CCMS has no commercial value so it may just wither away and die because I doubt the Legislature would specially fund it and the AOC is running out of special funds to plunder. And with whom exactly would a $900 Million contract be? The state? The AOC? Where would the money come from? Could the Legislature or Governor veto the whole thing?

    At some point, after CCMS dies out, the Legislature may be able to just step in quietly and arrange to have court records made electronic and shared for a reasonable cost.