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Kane courts tech panel to open software vendor evaluation to public

Published: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Later this month and throughout much of November, Kane County officials will get live demonstrations of the various kinds of computer software systems they are considering hiring a vendor to create for their courts-related networks.

And the public will be invited to attend, too.

For the past few weeks, the county government’s information technology professionals and hired consultants have been reviewing proposals from various vendors seeking the contract to create the software system.

Since receiving the proposals at the end of August, they have reduced the list to four potential vendors, said Roger Fahnestock, Kane County’s chief information officer.

From here, each of the four finalists will be invited to Geneva, beginning the week of Oct. 22, to give demonstrations of their products and capabilities.

Those demonstrations will continue each week for the next four weeks.

Thursday, the county panel overseeing the development of the system also said it would open up the demonstrations to anyone in the public who wishes to attend.

The demonstrations will be considered legal public meetings, requiring proper notice to be posted, as the meetings will include a number of Kane County elected officials and Kane County Board members.

For years, officials associated with the various offices that operate within the Kane County court system, including the state’s attorney, judges, public defender, circuit clerk and others, have partnered to create a new electronic document management system for the courts.

They have said the current system is out of date, inefficient and dysfunctional, costing taxpayers money needlessly.

The county’s Public Safety and Judicial Technology Commission, which includes the heads of those various county offices, earlier this year solicited proposals from software vendors capable of designing and installing the new system.

A true price tag has yet to be hung on the project, as the county officials have said they are waiting until the vendor evaluation process is complete to more firmly estimate the cost.

To date, the county has committed about $6 million over the next few years to help pay for the work, using mainly existing sales tax revenue and other existing revenue sources to avoid the need to borrow or raise taxes.

The county panel intends to select vendors in late December or early January.

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