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The Catalonian Government Department of Justice streamlines the move toward electronic court records thanks to Nuance AutoStore software and Ricoh MFPs.

Background

The individuals who collaborate with the Administration of Justice belong to different groups (attorneys, court liaisons, etc.), and not all of them send the documents to be added to the e-justícia.cat electronic court record (a project we are developing with the Catalonian Government Department of Justice) in electronic format. To address this issue, Nuance AutoStore offers functionalities and options that make this software the ideal solution for scanning court documents.

The Catalonian Government Department of Justice is one of the ministries of the Government of Catalonia. Its basic functions include matters related to the Catalonian Administration of Justice and modernizing it; correctional services, rehabilitation, and juvenile justice; preservation, update and development of Catalonian civil law; and legal entities, notaries, and vital records officials.

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We looked at different products, and we thought that the Nuance AutoStore solution effectively broke out of the paradigm that we had at the Justice Department up to that point, which had clear limitations. Nuance AutoStore enables you to launch the solution on multifunction devices, so you can take advantage of the highscanning capacity this kind of device provides.

Manel Nieto Romero
IT Area Coordinator in the Information Center for Technology of the Catalonian Administration of Justice

The Departament of Justíce has over 15,000 staff members and is divided into three areas: central services, in charge of the ministry’s internal services; administration of justice, in charge of IT management of all the Catalonian courts; and criminal enforcement, the area comprising correctional services, community sentencing centers, and juvenile justice. The Administration of Justice processes about 1,000,000 cases each year.


Installation


In 2007, the Administration of Justice launched the e-justícia.cat project, a comprehensive redesign of the case management system used by the courts. Twenty-two databases from the old information system were combined, and, at the same time, a new system was created with different functional modules and components that would serve as the foundation for the future global system: one more step toward electronic court records.

The Administration of Justice was looking for a software that would enable scanning of paper documents that would need to be added to the electronic court record in e-justícia.cat. In 2014, after considering several products, the Departament of Justíce IT department chose Nuance AutoStore because of the flexibility in the number of supported multifunction device manufacturers, and because of its simple deployment and integration in the e-justícia.cat information system.


Solution

Multifunction devices by Ricoh, a company partnering with Nuance, allow you to customize the display on your devices. Thanks to this functionality, and all the options enabled by the use of Nuance AutoStore software on Ricoh MFPs, the project to move toward electronic records in the Departament of Justíce is being carried out successfully. In addition, the Ricoh Professional Services team helped customize workflows to adapt the desired output document and related metadata for subsequent archiving and indexing.


Results: notable improvement in workflow and significant cost and time savings

The Catalonian Government Department of Justice started using Nuance AutoStore in 2014, and it is currently used in 233 courts, with a potential of 1,800 users, that manage around 1 million legal processes each year. Even though the results have not yet been quantified, feedback is very positive because using Nuance AutoStore makes it easy to scan documents, automate routing, and easily access electronic documentation.

"We saw that it was much more beneficial for the department to purchase the Nuance AutoStore license rather than more traditional scanning formats, as this software includes many functionalities that make the product relevant to our situation. Some examples are the text recognition tool, and the document routing, which archives the documents directly in the electronic court record, without any manual action."

Manel Nieto Romero
IT Area Coordinator in the Information Center for Technology of the Catalonian Administration of Justice



One of the main benefits they have seen is a clear improvement in workflow. Paper documents to be added to the record are directly scanned in the Ricoh multifunction devices and, through the Nuance AutoStore software, directly added to the electronic court record. Users are taken directly to the documentation screen, without having to search, and they can easily manage the texts using the OCR.

Previously, scanning court documents involved a manual transcription step carried out by government employees. With the installation of Nuance AutoStore, the Departament of Justíce has been able to eliminate this task, representing significant time savings while eliminating transcription errors.

Another significant benefit this software has provided to the Departament of Justíce has been clear cost savings, since the time that was previously spent transcribing is now dedicated to much more valuable tasks, notably improving work efficiency.

In addition to AutoStore, the Catalonian Government Department of Justice has added identification via Nuance Equitrac to the deployed solution, improving user authentication before scanning. Once identified, the user will not be able to accidentally save the scanned document in the wrong way; the software uses the identification and the case management file number to determine which court the user is associated with and where the scanned files should be saved.

Even though court records are hybrids, with some portions of the documentation still in paper format, Nuance AutoStore has facilitated interoperability between administrations. It eliminates the need to send an entirely paper file, with all the difficulties and costs that entails, and allows all the archives to be sent in a scanned format.

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