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Department of the Attorney General
Annual Report 2015/16
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Agency Performance

Managing our Assets

Asset Management

During the year the Department continued its Regional Courts Roll-out project with the completion of the $5.1 million Fitzroy Crossing Courthouse facility which was officially opened on 10 September 2015.

Planning and design proceeded on the relocation of the Kununurra Temporary Court to Karratha with the exception of the custody facility which is planned for relocation to Broome. The contract for this $5.7 million project was awarded in July 2016.

Following the opening of the State Administrative Tribunal Building in July 2015, the fit-out of the new Supreme Court (Civil) and new office accommodation for the Department in the Perth CBD was completed during 2015/16 and relocations commenced in June 2016.

These fit-outs were completed within a combined total budget of $128 million.

State Building - Major Projects

Metropolitan

State Administrative Tribunal

The new State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) Building was officially opened on 10 July 2015 by the Attorney General the Hon Michael Mischin MLC and the Finance Minister the Hon Bill Marmion MLA.

The SAT commenced operations in the new location on 20 July 2015. The SAT has five floors of hearing and mediation rooms and six floors of judicial, members and staff office accommodation.

Facilities include twenty-two hearing rooms, four mediation rooms, twenty-one meeting rooms and office accommodation for up to 132 judges, members and administration staff. There is also one floor for future growth to meet demand for the next 25 years.

The SAT building was the former Public Trust building at 565 Hay Street, Perth. The reconstruction and refurbishment to A-Grade office standard was completed in August 2014 by the Building Owner, the Perth Diocesan Trustee.

The SAT fit-out at a cost of $25 million was funded by the State and commenced in September 2014. The lease is for 25 years and the total area is approximately 7,700m2.

David Malcolm Justice Centre

The Old Treasury Building (OTB) Redevelopment is a private sector funded construction project managed by the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works.

The redevelopment project is now complete and the State Government has leased the premises within the office tower building. The lower floors of the tower have been fitted out to accommodate Supreme Court (Civil) and the upper floors accommodate offices for the Department of the Attorney General. Prior to completion of the fitout, the tower was named the David Malcolm Justice Centre at a ceremony on 11 March 2016 and the building was opened by the Attorney General the Hon Michael Mischin on 29 June 2016.

Regional

Fitzroy Crossing

Funding from Royalties for Regions was provided in 2011/12 for the replacement of the court facility at Fitzroy Crossing. This funding was to facilitate the building of a new courthouse adjacent and connected to the town’s recently completed police station. The design has a magistrates courtroom and associated facilities for the public and the judiciary. This $5.1 million courthouse was completed and opened on 10 September, 2015.

Kununurra Temporary Courthouse

Following the completion and opening of the Kununurra replacement courthouse, planning proceeded on options for relocation and reuse of the transportable temporary courthouse.

The temporary courthouse will be relocated to Karratha with the exception of the custody centre which will be relocated to Broome. During 2015/16, the availability of Royalties for Regions funds from savings on the replacement courthouse project was confirmed and a more detailed design progressed.

The building contract was awarded in early July 2016 and the works, including the remediation of the site in Kununurra, will be complete during the first half of 2017.

Audio-visual Systems

Audio-visual (AV) systems in Western Australian courts provide interactive and real-time video and audio links between local, regional and remote sites.

Flexible AV systems ensure multipurpose use including receiving evidence from witnesses in other areas of the state and witnesses located interstate and overseas. The AV systems also link in with Western Australia’s prisons, community-based services offices, juvenile detention and remand centres as well as some police stations. They also facilitate the replay of evidence in trials.

The AV systems enable the recording of audio for transcription as well as video links into the courtroom, reducing the need for persons in custody, witnesses and judicial officers to physically attend court. This makes accessing justice across Western Australia easier, safer, cheaper and faster.

Outcomes 2015/16

In 2015/16 there were 25,306 video link appearances between courts and prisons, totalling 4,133 hours of court hearing time. The total court appearances by persons in custody was 35,280 of which 72 per cent appeared by video conference, an eight per cent increase on the previous financial year.

During the year 8,901 video links were made to locations other than prisons, totalling a further 2,632 hours of court hearing time.

The Department continued to expand and enhance its court AV facilities to meet demand. Key project activities included:

  • Digital Audio Recording Upgrade Project - completed the installation of new digital court audio recording systems at the following locations:
    • Busselton Court
    • Central Law Courts
    • Derby Court
    • Esperance Court
    • Fremantle Court
    • Northam Court
    • South Hedland Court
  • Installed new video recording devices into all regional jury courtrooms (except Karratha).
  • Implemented new Electronic Evidence Standards in consultation with WA Police and DPP.
  • Rolled out changes to the Department’s Standard Operating Environment to ensure new Electronic Evidence formats can be played in all courtrooms, jury deliberation rooms and judicial officer chambers.
  • Upgraded equipment in all jury deliberation rooms to accommodate new electronic evidence standards.
  • Relocated Northam Court AV equipment to a dedicated communications room.
  • Consulted in relation to the new Cathedral Square Precinct AV design and implementation consisting of listings displays, IP television systems and Audio-Visual solutions in 70 rooms including courtrooms.
  • Implemented digital court recording ‘Sealed Audio’ functionality.
  • Installed new listings screens in the Central Law Courts.
  • Consulted in relation to the ongoing District Court Building Technical Services Review.
  • Decommissioned the closed Roebourne Courthouse.
  • Installed a new Integrated AV System in the new Fitzroy Crossing Courthouse.

Integrated Courts Management System

The primary focus of the Integrated Courts Management System (ICMS) is the replacement of the old and out-dated case management systems, critical to the operation of courts and tribunals in Western Australia. The replacement of these systems in all courts and tribunals creates the opportunity to make information used by courts and tribunals more efficient through the transfer of information across the whole justice system.

Outcomes 2015/16

Development of the Fines Enforcement System replacement is now completed (Release 7).

This was the final stage within the project to establish a single case management system for all jurisdictions through the continued replacement of business critical, legacy applications, and specifically:

  • Magistrates and Children’s Courts case management system (CHIPS)
  • Courts Debtors and Payments (CDP)
  • Fines Enforcement Registry (FER).

It delivered $5 million net savings in addition to the following benefits:

  • Decommission of nine legacy systems, which represented the greatest risk to business continuity across courts.

  • Commencement of a fully electronic court process, through the electronic receipt and processing of prosecution notices from the WA Police (93 per cent of all criminal matters).

  • Establishment of a single bail module across all justice agencies, providing a complete bail picture and enabling the decommissioning of duplicate functionality in WA Police and the Department of Corrective Services (DCS).

  • Launch of a new court planning tool.

  • Delivery of a new touch-screen ‘Court Resulting’ solution which enables simple and fast resulting in court, regardless of who is resulting.

  • Completed the core Integrated Courts Management System (ICMS) enabling the management of matters and charges in all jurisdictions (State Administrative Tribunal, and Supreme, District, Magistrates and Children’s Courts) and all divisions (civil, criminal and appellate).

  • Increased potential to recover some of the State’s investment through the sale of ICMS to other states and countries, and specifically resulted in the sale of ICMS to the ACT returning $1 million in revenue to the State.

  • Centralisation of courts fines management to the Fines Enforcement Registry (FER), providing economies of scale, potential for greater debt recovery with FER’s expertise and resources, and additional payment options for customers.

  • Launch of the eCourts Portal enabling prosecuting authorities to lodge and withdraw infringements with the FER, check the status of the infringements and download fine payment details.

  • Transition from a fully manual to an electronic process between the FER and the DCS for Orders to Attend and Work and Development Orders.

  • Electronic Restraining Orders, FER Registrar’s Warrants of Commitment and Committals from the lower to the higher courts.

  • Throughout the year District Court personnel were involved in the implementation of a new civil eLodgment and eFile system. The new system commenced operation on 4 July 2016, enabling the filing of all civil District Court documents to be done electronically.

Next year the focus will be on developing a Public Portal, eFile, eDistribution, replacing the Judicial Workbench and replacing the Criminal Injuries Compensation systems.

Contracts

The Contracts Branch is responsible for procurement governance, buyer training, maintaining the Oracle Purchasing System, procurement process development, providing leadership and advice to the Department with respect to contracting and tendering and managing the interface between the Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Finance.

During the financial period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, the Contracts Branch assisted business units to establish a diverse range of contracts that support the Department’s critical functions and services.

Contracts Awarded

Contracts Summary

ValueNumber
$0 - $19,999 3
$20,000 - $99,999 31
$100,000 - $499,999 34
$500,000 - $999,999 1
$1 million + 5

The data in these monetary thresholds derives from arrangements where a formal contract was executed in the form of a Letter of Engagement or Advice of Acceptance of Offer as a result of a quotation or tender process.

Information and Communications Technology

The Shared Information Services Directorate (SISD) continued to work on maintaining and securing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) environment provided to the Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Corrective Services, with availability of 99.88 per cent.

An ICT Programme of Work Steering Committee, chaired by the Director General, was established in the second quarter of the 2014/2015 financial year. This Committee reviewed the ICT Program of Work and re-prioritised essential work to align with the SISD budget. These essential ICT works were undertaken in order to mitigate potential and real disruptions to the department’s business operations and service delivery. ICT systems that were upgraded included the department’s operating, database and electronic mail systems.

Another significant item of work was the completion of the project to replace the BlackBerry service used for corporate mobile telephone services, email and calendaring with iOS (Apple) mobile telephones through the implementation of 'Mobile Device Management As A Service'.

Records and Compliance

The Knowledge Management and Compliance Branch (KMCB) has implemented a number of records management performance improvement initiatives and maintains progress towards established best practice records management benchmarks.

The Department’s Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) Implementation Framework was approved in late 2015. This framework defines the requirements for the staged deployment of the EDRMS throughout the Department. The implementation of the EDRMS will realise efficiencies and improvements in the use of electronic over hardcopy records.

The Department’s EDRMS was upgraded from HP TRIM to HP Enterprise Records Manager in the last quarter of the 2015 / 2016 financial year. This upgrade provided further electronic document management functionality and enhancements including improvements to searching, email notifications and user interface. The upgrade also ensures future compatibility with Microsoft Office and Windows applications. Staff were consulted throughout the upgrade and offered training sessions and provided with updated training materials and information.

To assist KMCB in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of records management services, client survey results and staff feedback have been utilised in the branch’s continuous improvement process, to enhance confidence and take up of the Department’s corporate electronic records management system. During the year KMCB also continued its program of systems training and compliance audits to raise staff awareness of their recordkeeping obligations.

As part of the disaggregation of Human Resources and Financial Services for Department of Corrective Services delivered by the Department of the Attorney General, all records identified were transferred to the relevant department. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed by KMCB to document requirements and responsibilities in the sharing of corporate records.

Throughout the year KMCB continued its program of Retention and Disposal projects to provide recordkeeping advice and assist business units in assessing corporate records for disposal in line with approved policies. The outcome of these projects ensures KMCB has a greater understanding of the recordkeeping requirements of business units and improves recordkeeping processes and practices throughout the department.

Library and Information Services

Library and Information Services continues to support the work of judiciary and government legal officers through the provision of a specialised legal library and information service.

Service Level Agreements with the Supreme, District, Magistrates and Children’s Courts were renewed and a new Service Level Agreement with the State Administrative Tribunal was concluded.

The Department concluded negotiations with the three major suppliers of legal information resources for new three year contracts, commencing 1 July 2015. This resulted in significant savings in relation to paper and electronic library resources.

Work commenced on the physical integration of the Department’s library collection with that of the Legal Practice Board’s Law Library (previously at the Supreme Court). When completed in late 2017, the integration of these two collections will provide a single comprehensive legal library collection to meet the needs of the judiciary, government legal officers and legal practitioners from a single location in the new David Malcolm Justice Centre.

In May 2016 the relocation of the Department’s library collection from Westralia Square to the David Malcolm Justice Centre commenced and was completed in early June 2016.


Last updated: 27-Sep-2016

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