One of the gratifying aspects of this job is witnessing the transformation of the Clerk’s Office right before my eyes!
When I first took office in 2005, I pledged to make this office take a giant leap in technology, to provide better service to you. It has been a massive undertaking, but we are coming together, in spite of far fewer people on staff. Our progress is all the more remarkable because we have so many employees who serve in a dual capacity – performing their daily jobs as well as testing the new technology we are implementing.
Our most challenging assignment has been the introduction of our new Odyssey case maintenance system throughout our Courts. Our employees are up to the task and work smarter and harder. In Courts, we now operate with 20 percent fewer employees than we did a few years ago, with more cuts looming, if the Florida Legislature has its way.
As I write to you, the good news is that we have started efiling in Probate and Mental Health, and we are moving efiling in other Court division, as we complete the implementation of Odyssey. So you see, we are well on the road toward completion of this massive transformation.
However, we keep getting thrown more roadblocks. Our most recent one was delivered in the budget approved this past session by the Florida Legislature. Beginning July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, the Clerks of Court throughout the state of Florida are facing a combined cut of more than $30 million, which is a $2 million cut for Hillsborough County. The worst scenario for our Courts area would be an additional five percent cut. I am hoping that will not happen, but as I write, the prognosis does not look good.
Yet, we are moving rapidly, and not just in implementing Odyssey. We are rolling out our new technology in Enterprise Resource Planning, commonly referred to as ERP; eFiling, redaction and Onbase. We are also implementing a massive Strategic Transformation internally, to change the way we do business. In spite of their heavy workloads, our employees have devoted their time and energies toward analyzing where we are, where we want to go and what the best way is to achieve our goals as we move forward.
I am convinced that our employees are more fulfilled personally if they have a seat at the table and take a leading role. I also believe that when it all comes together, you – our customer – will be the ultimate beneficiary in doing business with the Clerk’s Office.
For more information on the new programs we are implementing, please read below:
The eFiling project involves the streamlining of the court filings process by enabling attorneys to electronically submit initial and subsequent filings through a web-based portal developed and managed by the Florida Association of Court Clerks (FACC), which will be connected to the Clerk’s Office Odyssey Case Management System.
Imaging and Content & Records Management
This program will eliminate paper from the majority of Clerk’s Office processing, allowing for significantly streamlined workflows and enhanced capabilities for customers who access case files – judges, attorneys and the public. This will eliminate the need for physical space, thereby further reducing costs associated with paper handling and retention.
Case Maintenance System
The Odyssey Case Maintenance System is replacing several Courts legacy software products, enabling cross-departmental processing and laying the foundation for new capabilities, such as electronically processing and eFiling.
This project, through the implementation of Mentis aiRedact software, will auto-redact court documents to comply with Florida statutes.
The streamlining and automation of foreclosure and tax deed sales will be achieved through the RealAuction project, which permits sales to be conducted online.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Project 1 is an Oracle-based finance and human resources enterprise solution deployment project conducted by the Clerk’s Office, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County. The Project 1 solution will standardize systems and processes across the three participating organizations, saving downstream maintenance costs and enabling best-practice business processing.