Sunday, November 27, 2016

Electronic Filing in Florida has Saved Millions

Every year, the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims submits a report regarding the state of Florida's adjudication system. This year's report is in the proofing stage and will be published close to November 30, 2016. The following is an excerpt from that report.

Having led the way into the twenty-first century in 2005-06 with deployment of electronic filing (“eFiling,” or “eJCC”), the OJCC has continued to revise and leverage this process. In 2011-12, the OJCC began to enforce the mandatory use of electronic filing by represented parties. In 2011-12 programming was added to afford eFiling access to all users, represented or not. In 2012-13, programming was completed to allow electronic service of pleadings among and between lawyers and insurance carriers. The result is a neatly integrated electronic filing and service system that is exemplary.

In 2015-16, five hundred forty-five thousand six hundred ninety-five (545,695) documents were e-filed with the OJCC. The filing volumes are described in this chart.

Using the parameters described in the 2006-07 OJCC Annual Report, the cumulative end-user savings to date generated by this eFiling system, by the end of fiscal 2015-16, were at least two million nine hundred sixty-nine thousand four hundred seventy-eight dollars ($2,969,478). The total savings to the state is at least four million three hundred twenty-six thousand one hundred thirty-five dollars ($4,326,135). The combination is over seven million dollars in savings, and the total OJCC investment in e-filing to date is just over one million dollars. The eJCC return on investment from eFiling is about 700%. 

Electronic service was added to the eJCC platform in January 2013. This feature allows significant volumes of documents to be served electronically upon opposing counsel and insurance carriers in conjunction with electronic filing. This process change has enabled an additional annual savings to practitioners and carriers in excess of one million dollars due to the ability to serve each other documents electronically. The eService savings, combined with eFiling savings is thus about ten million dollars. This achievement is particularly gratifying in light of issues and complications experienced by other states’ systems that have expended large special fund allocations building and deploying electronic filing.

According to Workcompcentral.com, various states have spent far more developing their case management and litigation platforms. Notably, their systems are for all workers’ compensation claims in their respective states, while the OJCC system is for litigated claims only. Pennsylvania is reported to have spent $45.1 million initially, and contracted for three years of support and maintenance at $5.1 million per year. California has reportedly spent $61 million to deploy their case management and electronic filing platform.

The Office of Judges of Compensation Claims’ success with eFiling and eService has been achieved without any extraordinary budget allocations. The aggregate total programming cost to date barely exceeds one million dollars


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