“4 Digits Consulting – Judiciary and Public Sector Support ” (“4DC”) was awarded a grant by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for the project “Institutional Strengthening of the High Court Council”.
The purpose of this two-year project, which started in October 1st, 2015 and is going to last until October 2017, is to provide support to institutions in Serbia, primarily to the High Court Council of the Republic of Serbia, Supreme Court of Cassation and Ministry of Justice, in order to strengthen its institutional capacity and to improve judicial independence and efficiency as key pillars of the 2013-2018 National Judicial Reform Strategy in Serbia. Increased court efficiency as a general goal of the grant, should include several results: less expensive court procedures, savings made in administrative part of the court procedures, backlog reduction, case processing efficiency, improved court users satisfaction, better internal communication.
The goal of the cooperation with the High Court Council, Supreme Court of Cassation and Ministry of Justice is to:
Improve the judiciary’s financial independence by increasing the capacities of the Administrative Office in program budgeting, forecasting, and management. Trainings are planned for the employees of the HCC Material-Financial Affairs Sector (MFAS), as well as for court staff in order to properly implement “Program Budgeting” and “Budget Advocacy” methodologies in processes of planning and execution of budget, collection and analysis of financial data and drafting reports on improved budget capabilities for each budget year
Enhance the judiciary’s personnel management and efficiency (including judicial performance accountability and evaluation) by building the HCC’s capacity for human resources and infrastructure management. Trainings are planned for HCC Administrative office staff to educate them on proper use of available data from HR application for judges with creation of additional modules -for lay-judges, judicial assistants and court administrative personnel, staff training on new application, study visit to independent judicial institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Strengthen court efficiency and modernization through increased judicial statistical and legislative analysis capabilities and other innovations. It is planned to develop a new methodology for collection of courts’ statistical data, introduction of centralized statistics and strengthening capacities in analysis of statistical data.
Implementation of improved “e-filing” methodology in three pilot courts. This methodology enables the court users to communicate electronically with the courts, which in turn improve access to justice, speed-up court proceedings time, save the time and money on both sides, and increase transparency. New e-filing methodology will improve technical aspects of communication between parties and the courts.
Increase transparency and accessibility of the HCC and the courts through information and communications initiatives. As a part of project activities, PR/Outreach expert will be permanently positioned at the High Court Council and will work daily on increase of openness, transparency and public trust in work of HCC. The project will support presentation of court statistics and hearing schedule on-line for all court users in Serbia, and broader. It is also planned to create HCC Communication strategy for the period beyond 2015.
4 Digits Consulting