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Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Senator A.J. Nicholson, yesterday (August 23), signed a contract with Illuminat Jamaica Ltd. for the supply and installation of computer hardware for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Valued at $27.87 million, the computerisation project is being fully financed by the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Justice.
In his remarks, Senator Nicholson said that, “the signing of this contract.takes the modernization programme of [the DPP’s Office] to another important level by expanding the technological base”.
The contract signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Justice in Kingston.
Under the contract, Illuminat, which has been operating in Jamaica for the past 13 years, “will provide and install five servers with differing dedicated purposes, aimed at meeting the needs of the department,” as well as backup devices for each, Senator Nicholson informed.
Illuminat will also provide approximately 50 workstations, three scanners and a range of office productivity software. This will be done over the next three months. The training of staff members in computer skills, through the Justice Training Institute (JTI), will complement the process.
Senator Nicholson also indicated that following the installation of the computer systems, both the Court of Appeal and the Office of the DPP would be provided with their own power generator. He said this would be placed on the grounds occupied by the two institutions on King Street in downtown.
Noting that the computerization of the DPP’s Office fell under the umbrella of the modernisation of the justice system, the Minister pointed out that the project would immediately facilitate the introduction of an automated Case Management process at the level of the Supreme Court.
“A Case Management regime is required to be put in place, not only to reduce and eventually eliminate the backlog [of cases], but also to maintain at manageable levels, the number of cases to be heard,” he explained.
When these improvements in the justice system are achieved, Senator Nicholson expressed the view that, “the crime level is likely to be positively impacted, as trust and confidence are restored and maintained”.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Prosecutions, Kent Pantry said the move to computerize his department, which comes on the heels of recent major enhancements to the infrastructure, was a welcome one. “Over the years, everything that has been done in the office is done by manual operation,” he noted.
Anticipating that the computer systems, when installed, would facilitate networking with prosecutors islandwide, enable efficient file tracking, and allow for detailed investigations and faster research, the DPP said that, “this will increase the efficiency of the department and enhance the justice system”.