The Judiciary of Uganda has revealed that it hired an American software company- Synergy International Systems to lead in the designing and developing its Electronic Court Case Management Information System (ECCMIS) at Shs9.2 billion.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Judiciary revealed that no Ugandan Software company was able to develop ECCMIS since it’s not a common system and few countries use it.
“The Judiciary had for the last 10 years struggled to re-engineer its Court Case Management System since new user requirements were coming in. So we had stood still for 10 years and hence moved backwards 10 years. We acknowledge the fact that Case Management systems are not common systems in the World. There was thus no need of delay any further, and therefore we looked out for companies that had developed similar systems in the World,”
However, as a way of promoting the Buy Uganda Build Uganda spirit, the Judiciary requested for a Join Venture with a Local Company, that is why M/S. Sybyl LTD (A local Company is in Joint Venture with M/S. Synergy).
According to the Judiciary, the procurement process was initiated and an Open International Bidding method was used. Bids were received from firms all over the World and evaluation was conducted followed by a due diligence exercise to the Offices of the winning Company to ascertain their existence and the type of business the Company was engaged in.
Having finalized all the processes, on the 16th of September 2019, the Judiciary signed a Contract with Synergy International Systems in Joint Venture with Sybyl Limited to Design, Develop, Deploy and Maintenance the ECCMIS. The Contract price was USD. 2,510,233 equivalents to UShs. 9,277,519,940.04 (Uganda Shillings Nine billion Two Hundred Seventy-Seven Million Five Hundred Nineteen Thousand Forty Point Zero Four). This is against a Contracted Exchange Rate of 3,694.92.
The Contract is for a period of 5-Years whereby the last 2 years will be dedicated to the maintenance of the ECCMIS while the three years are for Designing, Developing and Deploying.
Facts about ECCMIS
According to Jameson Karemani the spokesperson of Judiciary, in 1997 the Judiciary developed a Case Management System called: The Court Case Administration System (CCAS) to internally manage cases while the cases are manually filed into the Court. Over the years, the Judiciary has received a number of user requirements both internal and external from different stakeholders
He notes that the new user requirements necessitated an overhaul of the CCAS System, and an Electronic system that supports integration and is able to manage Court Cases was which ECCMIS
“ECCMIS automates and tracks all aspects of a case life cycle from initial filing through disposition & appeal as to each individual party for any case type. Able to facilitate the efficient and reliable collection, organization, distribution and retrieval of significant amounts of case-specific data as well as the processing of payment of relevant court fees and fines. And is able to generate reports from the system for decision making,” he said.
Why Judiciary needs ECCMIS
Karemani noted that ECCMIS will act as a Monitoring and Evaluation tool for analyzing and reporting on the performance of the Judiciary. It will provide: – Reports and graphic presentations of key performance measures, such as the average caseload per judge, the court clearance rate, the average time to disposition etc.
“The analytical reporting tools include ad hoc report builders for charts, graphs, tabular reports, GIS and an Executive Dashboard module for presenting multiple reports in a single view. All reports and analytics will be saved and modified, and are dynamically updated every time a user opens the analytics module. ECCMIS will provide a comprehensive overview of current cases and case backlogs disaggregated by the court, by the judge and even by nature of cases (family, land, insurance, insolvency etc.),” adding that it will enable more strategic planning and resource allocation as it is possible to monitor overall performance.
He added; “ECCMIS is accessible anywhere on all devices (computer, tablet and mobile). Provides online services for case filing, payments, automated reminders, and free access to summons and judgments, it will also reduce chances of physical contact with Court Staff which combats bribery and thus corruption.”
Meanwhile, the Judiciary is beginning to use ECCMIS on the 1st of next month and by the end of Financial Year 2021/2022 (by end of 30th June, 2022), 18 Court Stations will be using it and these include; The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court. Seven High Court Divisions (Family, Lands, Civil, Criminal, Commercial, Anti-Corruption, International Crimes) and Jinja High Court.
Five Chief Magistrates Courts (Jinja, Buganda Road, Nakawa, Mengo and Makindye) and three Magistrates Grade 1 Court Stations (LDC, Kakira and Bugembe)
So far that contractor has been paid Shs3.1bn and the available FY2021/2022 is 1.1bn
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