Commission on Justice, Efficiency and Accountability
January 26, 1998
January 26, 1998
Two Union Square
The meeting was called to order by Mr. Douglas Beighle, Commission chair.
Chief Justice Durham thanked the members for their willingness to participate in this important endeavor. The Chief Justice asked the members and guests to introduce themselves.
Mr. Tom Carroll of Andersen Consulting did a presentation on business plans (an outline of his presentation was handed out at meeting). Mr. Carroll's presentation touched on topics such as managing change, business integration methodology, key principles of business integration, the planning phase and a summary. He also explained to the Commission the process they use with their clients in the development of a business plan.
Ms. McQueen provided an overview of previous court planning efforts in Washington State. She advised the Commission that Washington State was one of five states that participated in a pilot project, the result of which was the establishment of Trial Court Performance Standards. Further, she said that an assessment of the court of limited jurisdiction, with over 80 percent of the courts of limited jurisdiction participating, had been completed last year.
Ms. McQueen continued there is a tendency to divide the courts based on jurisdiction, but in reality issues need to be integrated, that is, looked at from a broad spectrum.
Mr. Ron Overholt, Alameda County Trial Court Administrator, advised the Commission that California had undergone major changes in its court organigation in the past five years. He said the California Judicial Council is driven by five goals:
1) Access, Fairness and Diversity
Mr. Overholt reported the Task Force on Court Funding recommended the gradual assumption of funding by the state. Originally, 70 percent of the funding was provided by the counties, with the state assuming 30 percent of financial support. The plan calls for an increase of 5 percent per year assumption by the state, until the state is providing 70 percent financial support. Further, he reported, county spending on trial courts has been capped at the 1994-95 level.
Mr. Overholt explained the California Judicial Council established minimum service levels and standards for the courts. As part of this package, courts are offered incentives to encourage the adoption of policies created by the Judicial Council.
Mr. Overholt advised the Commission that two task forces were formed to research issues concerned with court employees and court facilities. The Task Force on the Status of Court Employees is currently looking at whether court employees should be transferred to state employment. Currently the employees remain county employees. The Task Force on Court Facilities initial recommendation was that the state should assume responsibility for all court facilities, but because the courts are not the only occupant of most buildings further study is being conducted.
As a final note, Mr. Overholt urged that all parties be included in this process.
Judge Ken Grosse reported that his subcommittee has met twice. The group developed a proposed resolution to show the legislature that adequate funding for the courts is a serious effort. He continued, there is a lot of work to be done, particularly, in developing a long term solution. Further, he said, the legislature would be looking for efficiency measures in court operation.
Judge Agid reported this subcommittee was yet to be formed. The focus of the subcommittee will be an overview of the courts' jobs at all levels; that is, is there a different way to accomplish projects and a more comprehensive way to meet goals.
Judge Donohue stated his subcommittee would be reviewing performance standards and recommending better ways for courts to serve citizens; as well as the coordination of service planning. They will also look at what has been done in other states.
Mr. Beighle requested the members review the Mission statement and provide him with any comments.
The next meeting of the Commission was set for Thursday, February 26.
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