News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 24, 2020

PROVINCE ISSUES REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS TO MODERNIZE COURT INFORMATION SYSTEMS



The Manitoba government is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) from vendors to implement an Integrated Case Management system that will improve efficiency and access to justice for Manitobans, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.
 
“This project will help to ensure more Manitobans across our province have access to justice information and it is an important step in modernizing Manitoba’s courts,” said Cullen. “Once the new system is implemented, it will improve the way information is handled across the court system.”
 
The minister noted the new technology will improve efficiencies and provide many other benefits including:
consolidating to a single provincewide system that minimizes data-entry and shares real-time information updates,
reducing reliance on paper,
providing the public and stakeholders with online access to court records, and
facilitating online dispute resolution.
 
“The most common complaint about the justice system is that it is slow, complicated and costly,” said Chief Justice Richard Chartier, chief justice of Manitoba. “The new system will facilitate court hearings and service to the public using web-based and video technology as well as out-of-court dispute resolution. The expected outcome is for simpler, faster and more efficient judicial proceedings.” 
 
The state-of-the-art information technology system will support the operations of all three levels of Manitoba courts and its branches. Currently, there are more than 20 different systems throughout Manitoba courts that are not integrated and the majority of the systems are paper-based, requiring manual updating.
 
“Technology helps us to provide greater access to justice, and these changes will complement other recently implemented improvements to the court’s scheduling and case flow models in all areas of judicial service,” said Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, chief justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench. “Given the diverse breadth of the judicial service provided by the Court of Queen’s Bench in the areas of criminal, civil, family and child protection proceedings, this modernization will be highly beneficial to Manitobans.” 
 
“The provincial court of Manitoba presides in all court centres and up to 50 circuit court communities in Manitoba,” said Chief Judge Margaret Wiebe, chief judge of the provincial court. “A single, web-based case management system that could be accessed remotely throughout the province would speed up court proceedings and make the system more efficient overall.” 
 
Once implemented, the system will reduce the need for personal attendance at court offices by counsel and the public to conduct routine business such as filing documents, scheduling hearings and paying fines or fees. In addition, online dispute resolution will reduce backlog and allow the court to focus on more serious, high-conflict matters.
 
Due to the scale and technical nature of the project, the province worked with outside agencies to complete the request for proposals. An external expert was hired to develop the technical content, and a change management consultant worked with Manitoba courts and its stakeholders to minimize disruption and ensure a smooth transition. 
 
The project is a result of the Idea Fund, which supports innovative initiatives within government. These ideas are advanced by front-line public servants and are designed to produce meaningful return on investment for taxpayers.  
 
The RFP has been posted to MERX at www.merx.com under an open tendering process.  
 
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