Justice Canada to overhaul litigation management software

By Justin Ling July 27, 201727 July 2017

Justice Canada to overhaul litigation management software
Photo by Hugo Caillard on Unsplash

 

 

The federal Justice Department is on track for a big software update.

It posted a request for information this week, seeking software developers to propose a new solution for their litigation management programs.

That new software, which will replace the current tools, would be designed to search, tag, and preserve documents in various government systems and mark them as relevant for ongoing litigation. The ideal legislation would also be able to archive and crawl webpages, monitor sites for changes, store legal research on the issue, and centralize all relevant information on a chosen case.

The new software would be used to manage workflow and discovery for the 2,000 employees of Justice dealing with some 42,000 litigation cases each year.

The aim is to get the new software online by April, 2020.

The request for information notes that the department has a pretty particular need for a heavy-duty program that can manage scores of documents in a workable way — the department figures a case could range anywhere from 500 to over one million documents.

And considering that Justice is often dealing with other departments on litigation, the transfer of information can be less-than-satisfactory.

“In the current state, client departments that deal with [Justice] on a litigation matter do not benefit from direct connectivity between their own network and [Justice], and documents are typically not electronically exchanged other than by email,” the request for proposals reads. This software will, if the department gets what it is looking for, change that.

The new anticipated new software might not be flashy, but it is a part of an overhaul at Justice — and one that is being mirrored government-wide.

Justice Canada already announced last year that it would also be creating a new case management system that would handle all of the department’s ongoing files. The litigation management software will, they hope, plug right into that.

Technological updates have been causing some anxiousness in Ottawa as of late. An effort to update the pay management system for government employees — dubbed “Phoenix” — went south, as the buggy system has struggled to issue pay cheques to hundreds of thousands of federal employees.

Efforts to centralize departmental servers with Shared Services Canada has similarly been difficult, with the Supreme Court threatening legal action, should it be forced to move its servers under the purview of the executive — a threat that proved effective, as the government opted to let the top court decide for themselves what to with their computer systems.

Photo by Hugo Caillard on Unsplash

 

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