DBM to throw support behind SC digitization

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?We are more than willing to support the Supreme Court?s drive for increased transparency, accountability, and openness in their budgetary activities. Among many solutions, we?re proposing the digitization of the High Court?s internal processes to boost operational efficiency and allow little to no room for abuse or irregularities,? Department of Budget and Management (DBM) secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a statement. According to Abad, one of these suggested initiatives is the creation of an online system that will publish the aging of cases and provide updated information on which sala a particular case is lodged. ?This way, anyone can check the status of their cases online and monitor its progress from there, without having to make multiple visits or phone calls to a judge?s office. In addition, it will be quicker and easier to identify which cases are taking too long to resolve, so that the judicial system can pursue measures to hasten the resolution of long-standing cases,? Abad said. The budget chief added that the national budget can also accommodate the creation of an internal and integrated Human Resources (HR) and payroll management system in the Supreme Court and other government offices. ?Once in place, this system will maintain an up-to-date record of employees currently serving in all courts at every level. This will enable the accurate tracking of all individuals employed by the judiciary as well as facilitate the efficient release of employee salaries and benefits,? Abad said. He also recommended the adoption of an initiative similar to the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), which will allow the judiciary to keep tabs on allocations and disbursements across the court system. ?The judiciary?s fiscal autonomy ? while essential in preserving the separation of powers in government ? has also posed serious challenges in ensuring transparency and accountability in the court system. A judicial fiscal management and information system may help ensure that, should the High Court decide to undertake such an initiative,? Abad said. Abad likewise called on the SC to develop and maintain a more active and responsive online presence, particularly within its own website, as well as in social networks and other interaction-driven media. ?We enjoin the High Court to publish all its final decisions online ? from the lowest court to the highest ? including dissenting opinions on these decisions. The public will thus be informed on how certain issues have been settled, especially on matters that bear a significant impact on government and the people?s welfare. This way, the Supreme Court can enlighten the public on key judicial matters, as well as maintain a posture of dignified silence,? he said. ]]>

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