E-working stalls at Rolls building

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A major project to introduce e-working at the Royal Courts of Justice jurisdictions in the Rolls Building court complex has been withdrawn four years after it began, due to “significant problems”.

About £9.5m has been spent on the project since work began in November 2008. It aimed to enable court users to submit documents electronically, and was the joint initiative of HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

An HMCTS spokesperson said “good progress” was made on the new system initially, but that “significant problems” began to emerge 12-18 months ago.

“A fundamental review of the project was carried out which identified a number of serious issues with the quality of the core system.
“We subsequently concluded that the scope of the works required was so significant that a business case for continuing with the system could not be made. A key factor in making this decision was that new IT capability has emerged in the marketplace which will be assessed as part of the scope of a new project.

“HMCTS and MoJ ICT remain fully committed to delivering, at the earliest opportunity, an electronic filing, document management and listing system to support the jurisdictions of the Rolls Building. Planning for that is now underway and a new project will be initiated through the standard government procurement and Cabinet Office approvals processes.”

In the meantime, lawyers may need to rely on the old-fashioned paper method.

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