Best Practices Committee
November 29, 2007
Board for Judicial Administration
Members Present: Judge Julie Spector, Chair
Members Absent: Mr. Jeff Amram
Staff Present: Ms. Julia Appel
1. WelCome and Introductions
Judge Julie Spector called the meeting to order. Judge Spector welcomed the new committee members present and Ms. Julia Appel, who is the new AOC staff person to the committee (replacing Meagan Eliot).
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Judge Spector asked if there were any changes to the June 27, 2007 minutes. There were none.
Judge Spector noted that the main purpose of the meeting was to adopt or reject the attorney survey measure.
Ms. Appel reviewed the attorney survey measure, and provided some background regarding the pilot test process. She reiterated the staff recommendation that the attorney survey measure should not be included in the Audit Plan primarily because the measure is subjective, and no standard can be applied. Conclusions about a court’s performance cannot be reliably made without additional objective information. The BJA only allows standards to be set for objective measures of court performance, and the measure does not meet the GAGAS (Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards) criteria that “Standards/objectives must be objectively measurable by the auditor.”
Ms. Appel presented the detailed staff assessment using the Measure Assessment form (Tab 2). The Committee concurred with the staff assessment.
4. NEXT MEASURE FOR CONSIDERATION
The next measure to be considered is Measure 12: Inventory of Assistance Alternatives for the Financially Disadvantaged (Tab 4). This will be followed by the related measures: Compliance with ADA Requirements (Measure 15) and Accessibility for Court Users with Limited English Proficiency (Measure 16).
Measure 12 has been previously addressed by the committee, but was set aside to concentrate on the attorney survey. The committee was directed to a summary of the work completed to date (Tab 4).
The group discussed the logistics of conducting this measure in superior courts as the County Clerk is usually the custodian of the information and services being audited. It was noted that it would be necessary for the auditor to conduct interviews with both the County Clerk and the Court Administrator in Superior Courts, but that the ultimate responsibility to make sure the relevant information is available lies with the court. It would be the court that is being audited, not the County Clerk.
It is expected that pilot courts will be chosen in the spring to test this measure. Staff projects a maximum of 2-3 days of the court’s time will be needed to conduct the measure. After discussion, it was decided that Spokane Superior Court will be approached to be the initial pilot court.
The committee began discussing the Objectives & Standards for Measure 12. Changes decided by the committee follow.
5. NEXT MEETING
Committee members are welcome to attend future meetings via conference call or video conferencing. It was noted that at times today it was difficult for those on the conference call to hear the discussion.
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