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Follow-up on the Management and Financial Audit of the Judiciary

Report No.  90-18 


The Legislature in 1988 asked the auditor to conduct an audit of the management, operations, and expenditures of the Judiciary.  In response to that request, the auditor issued its 1989 report, Management and Financial Audit of the Judiciary of the State of Hawaii.  The audit found numerous problems in the administration of the Judiciary.  The Judiciary had no clear structure of management authority and responsibility.  Policies were inadequate and often ignored.  There were numerous deficiencies in the Judiciary's management of caseflow, records, information systems, personnel, court-related programs, and financial operations.  The audit report had many recommendations on ways the Judiciary could improve its management and operations.

In the Judiciary Appropriations Act of 1989 and again in the Judiciary Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1990, the Legislature directed the Judiciary to report to the auditor on its progress in implementing the audit recommendations.  Our conclusion is that slow but steady progress is being made in those areas where improvements are needed.  The Judiciary has demonstrated a willingness to recognize problems and a commitment to solving them.  It has made important changes in organization that clarifies the roles and responsibilities of judges and court administrators.

Progress is being made in caseflow, record management, personnel management, and financial management.  Some efforts, however, continue to be hampered by vacancies, particularly in the district courts.

A priority for the Judiciary is an adequate information system to support caseflow and administration.  A chief information officer, hired in August 1990, will head a newly organized telecommunications and Information Services Division that is responsible for technological activities.  He has initiated a "planning process" that will bring all information systems into one communications network.

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