Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Electronic Filing Expenditures and More Changes Coming

Florida workers' compensation, the OJCC, was not the first to deliver the promise of electronic filing. It was among the first however. The Florida State Court system lagged behind the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims, which instituted the process early in the Twenty-First Century. 

The OJCC deployed electronic filing in stages. The full system was ultimately available to the public in late 2005, and has been repeatedly revised and updated since. We have been blessed with a dynamic and innovative little team of professionals who are constantly asking "what if" and "why can't." The success of the program is frankly to their credit. 

Some states have sought special budget allocations and built massive programs with the help of national companies. The OJCC has built a program one piece at a time. Practitioners will remember their frustration with the original electronic petition form. It had so many failings. But, today's Tesla would not exist had it not been for the crude experimentation of the Stanley Steamer

The program is what it is today because of the various process tried and developed. Yes, some innovation has been to bring more tools to the end users. Other innovation has been less noticeable, making the program more useful for the OJCC staff. In 2015, the OJCC e-filing system marks a milestone, as one million dollars has now been invested over the last 14 years to bring this system to the marketplace. 

Today, three of the five District Courts of Appeal have even deployed electronic filing. The original platform, e-DCA, was adapted from the OJCC's electronic filing platform, e-JCC. That platform was deployed at the First DCA in 2011, and the Court was recognized with a Davis Productivity Award for that adaptation. The deployment has resulted in extensive savings for the state and customers. Since then, the Fourth and Fifth DCAs have deployed e-DCA.

The Florida Supreme Court has implemented e-filing through the statewide portal used for circuit e-filing. It is curious that the Court has not embraced e-DCA. By adopting that platform, the District Courts took advantage of the dollars already invested by the OJCC and  to frankly exploded onto the marketplace with a convenient and ready platform. Despite that, the Supreme Court adoption of e-filing further evidences that e-filing is increasingly mandatory in Florida. 

Recently, there has been vindication for the money spent by various states on e-filing. Florida's success with e-filing, and the minimal financial investment is notable. An audit in California in January 2015, reported in The Sacramento Bee, faulted the California Court system for "wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on an inoperable statewide case-management system." 

Bragging about our system is not new. I was quoted in 2007 comparing Florida to California. I noted then that we had built the future for a fraction of the cost. And just like in the Field of Dreams, you have come. That is "hundreds" of millions, not one hundred; that is "millions" not the one million dollars we have now spent. I am very proud of our process, progress, and success. The efficiency and productivity are simply unparalleled. Florida is fortunate to have the platforms and capabilities, without the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The world is populated by many good people, and some ne'er-do-wells are out there also.  Some of the investment we have to make regarding e-filing is protecting data, your data, from those who would do harm to it or with it. Luckily, we are a small target and large targets like the IRS attract much more attention. But we still have to work constantly to protect ourselves and you from the Snidely Whiplashs of the world. 

Soon, we will roll out another layer of security at the OJCC. The users will not see it much. It is one of those investments that have important and tangible benefits, but which will go largely unnoticed. 

There is one thing that our users will notice though, the familiar "http://" that begins our addresses will soon be "https://" instead. To visit our website, you will not use "" but "" What a difference an "s" makes. This is part of our servers and your data being more secure. 

The old "" will still work if you have that as a shortcut or a link on your computer. However, it will work because when you use it, we will be "redirecting" you to "" That "redirecting" won't happen without you knowing; your computer will display a message to let you know that you are being redirected. You should expect that and understand that is normal. 

As we head into the fall season, watch the URL box (that address box at the top of Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox) for the change in our address. When you get that message that you are being redirected, create a new shortcut and change your links for the future. 

With every innovation and improvement, I have asked your patience and accommodation. The Florida market (YOU!) has been unbelievably cooperative with the development and implementation of this program. We appreciate that, and your trust in us. We look forward to continued improvement in both the way the programming helps you and creates efficiencies for the state. 

Email me if you have questions about this change in cyber-address that is coming,

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