Best Practices Committee
October 24, 2003
Board for Judicial Administration
Best Practices Committee October 24, 2003
Call to Order
Judge Evan Sperline called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. Those present introduced themselves. The committee welcomed Judge Donald Haley as a new member.
The minutes of June 13, 2003 were entered into the record as written.
Judge Sperline reported that the conclusions and findings of this report were presented to the BJA at their last meeting. The BJA requested that it be distributed to all of the courts of limited jurisdiction (CLJ). Ms. Pettus confirmed that it was sent to all CLJ presiding judges and CLJ court managers.
The next major project for this committee is to create a performance audit system for Washington courts.
As a part of this project, Judge Sperline said there are five reports that make up a “tool kit” for this subject. Committee members should have already received the following reports.
Adding to the resource documents, Judge Fritzler advised that approximately four years ago two questionnaires were developed regarding their court performance standards. One was for court clients, to be completed after they went through the system, and one for court staff. Judge Fritzler will email these documents to Ms. Pettus for the committee’s use.
Mr. Hall offered that one of today’s handouts (green paper) may also be a good resource document: “Towards a Court Performance Measurement System: Eleven Core Measures of Success.”
Judge Sperline said the June 13 minutes indicate that initial thoughts were to begin developing standards for the criminal functions of the superior courts. Since that time, with AOC’s assistance, this has been revised to first develop a policy framework for court performance audits. The goal today is to approve that draft policy framework. This policy statement will then be presented to the BJA. Once the BJA has approved the policy framework, the Best Practices Committee can begin to develop measures and standards.
Ms. Clynch asked for clarification regarding performance audits—are we to develop a framework for conducting an audit; or are we actually going to be conducting the audits?
Mr. Hall responded that AOC staff (or a consultant) will probably be the ones actually conducting the performance audit(s). The vision is that this committee will have an active role in developing the specific measures that will be applied for an individual trial court audit. This committee may look at the methodology used in the audits and whether the results suggest there might be appropriate standards to be developed in that area. While this committee will not be actually conducting the audits, they will be very involved in the state-wide issues and also in the development of the actual measures and standards.
Judge Fritzler commented that these audits need to be constructive and helpful for the courts that are audited.
Mr. Hall and Ms. Pettus then proceeded to walk the committee through the draft policy, which was developed with Judge Sperline’s input. The committee reviewed the draft policy and discussed changes. Mr. Hall and Ms. Pettus will make these changes and forward the final policy to the BJA with a copy to the Best Practices Committee members.
It was moved by Judge Fritzler to forward the revised (final) Court
Performance Audit Policy to the Board for Judicial Administration; seconded by Ms. Clynch. Motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Melissa Cook, consultant, introduced the committee to the Enterprise Framework. This is, in essence, a paradigm for bringing business-based principles into the decision-making processes of the court system. The heart of the system is to identify a set of “overarching principles” that apply to all courts and jurisdictional levels, followed by the development of a set of “process principles” tailored to specific courts and processes.
The overarching principles have been identified by a team at the AOC level. The process principles await development. Both will be crucial in establishing standards for court performance, the major project upon which this committee is now embarking.
As time was short today for her presentation; Ms. Cook will attend our next meeting to offer more information and answer questions from the committee.
Court Performance Audit Policy
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. The next meeting date has not been set yet.
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