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INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

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Objective

Provide effective and efficient Courts Information Management services to the Judiciary, Ministry and the General public.

Leota Pelenato Paulo

Summary

The Information Management and Technology Division plays an important role to the Judiciary, Ministry and the General Public by providing efficient and effective Information Management Services. The division also manage the preservation and conservation of information to maintain the integrity of court records. Also provides technical support services on information technology and court systems to ensure “A SAFER AND RESILLIENT SOCIETY”

Core Functions
  • Records Management
  • To provide ICT advise within MJCA and sector agencies as well as the public
  • To provide hardware and software solution within MJCA
  • To manage, monitor and maintain the integrity of information stored in the strong room
  • To manage preservation and conservation of information
  • To manage the flow of incoming and outgoing correspondence (mails)
  • Ensure all information received are properly filed away to their respective files
  • Ensure updated both Manual and Electronic file Indexes (databases)
  • Ensure staff compliance with policies and procedures

Digitization

  • To digitise all court records and stored into the approved Electronic System (Docsvault System)
  • Ensure the accuracy of information stored electronically

Information Technology

Upholding the MJCA Vision, the ICT Section works to fulfill their Long Term Goals. To manage and facilitate ICT network and systems to meet the needs of MJCA and the Judiciary, it also strives to maintain MJCA ICT network infrastructure to encure the availability of ICT services and data to its users.

“Ensuring a Safer and Resilient Society.”
ICT Section assist MJCA users in doing their work to achieve their divisional targets as set
in the Budget by providing ICT Support, Software/Hardware and Network Technology
Support.
In the Managerial Level, decision making is highly dependable on information made available from time to time. Thus, ICT Section ensures availability of information for those decision purposes are accurate, timely and relevant.


Governing Legislation
  • LTC Act 2020
  •  National Records Act 2011
Divisional Structure
Digitization System

Digitization Project for the Land and Titles Court Records implemented in 2012 and was successfully completed in 2017.  The main aim of the project is;

To preserve all the LTC Court Records into electronic form and enable backup copies to be created in the event that the images on the paper fade or documents themselves are destroyed.

Improve access by the public, particularly the interested parties to these important historical heritage documents, by enabling easy viewing of these documents via computer monitors.

Facilitate Easy Retrieval of information

The Project has also made easy access by the public through computer monitor and the files are now available for viewing and printing from the system at any time by authorized personnel. The Digitization Project now achieved its vision to actually digitize LTC Records from Tuasivi Office using stable network connection between Upolu and Savaii through the Samoa National Broadband Highway. 

  1. Save time and money from travelling between the islands when needed LTC information
  2. Improve access, to this historical information particularly the interested parties
  3. Efficient and effective customer service where the public could be served within 10-15 minutes.

Since the Land & Titles Court sits every day, the Project Team continues to scan additional pages for cases heard and decision delivered for both Mulinuu and Tuasivi Offices.

Docsvault System for the Digitization Project has been upgraded successfully and it could be upgraded again in the next three years

Regular update of Back-up servers on a weekly basis for both in-house and off-site

We have slowly started with Probates and Divorce of Civil and Criminal Court Records.  

The Land and Titles Courts is an important court for Samoa with exclusive jurisdiction to determine disputes relating to customary land and matai titles. Thus its decisions have far reaching impact and affect all Samoans.

Since its establishment during the German era, the records of this Court have been manually kept and maintained, as such many records are fragile and in danger of becoming unreadable as print is fading due to the quality and condition of the fax paper used in the early days. Some of the recent documents are in good condition but are also becoming fragile with usage and passage of time. Apart from the conditions of the records, there is also the problem of people stealing or taking pages from files.

There was also a fire in the old Land and Titles Court office of more than 10 years ago, that threatened the destruction of these important records.

Therefore, in order to preserve this wealth of historical information about family genealogy, confirmation of Matai title holders and ownership of customary land contained in these records, it is proposed that all of the Land and Titles Court records are scanned so that digital images are created.

Whilst currently stored in the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration’s newly established strong room for records, these are not readily accessible by the people of Samoa as there is reluctance to provide access in case file pages are removed or damaged.

Access is very limited in accordance to Sections 93&94 of the Land Titles Court Act 1981, in that any person who wishes to view a file must complete a request form which is then submitted to either the Registrar or the President of the Land and Titles Court for authorization.

Implementation

Phase One of the Digitisation Project has started in 2011, where we have to digitize more than 30,000 files here at Mulinuu. The Project Team fully recruited and started working on file repair in July 2011, followed by scanning processes in November of the same year.

A total production of 45,641 files being digitized and stored into the Docsvault System as at 31 May 2021, equals to 2,033,827 pages. This amount includes 10,088 scanned files for Tuasivi Office totals to 372,631 pages. Therefore, 84% achievement for Tuasivi files compared to the total number identified in the file count.

 

Phase Two of the Digitisation Project now in progress, started in October 2017 by working in collaborative with our ICT Team to ensure sustainability of the network connection between the two islands (Upolu and Savaii)

“A Dream comes true” and it came into reality after the hard work carried out by the Project Team and the IT Team, trying tirelessly to ensure the stability of the network connection between Mulinuu and Tuasivi Office through the Samoa National Broadband Highway, followed by training programs conducted by the Project Team for Scanner Operators and Deputy Registrars at Tuasivi Office.

Two workstations have been installed and now ready for scanning processes directly from Tuasivi. Two other computers have been made available for viewing and printing of documents.

At the moment, Tuasivi Office can access to the Docsvault System to view information for both Mulinuu and Tuasivi files and print out documents when needed instead of getting the physical files or travelling between the two islands.