The Harris County justice community is soliciting written, sealed proposals for implementing a jail management system (JMS) and a court case management system (CMS). Proposals must include system integration solutions to support transaction processing and information exchanges between these two business domains. Proposals must also include a Master Data Management solution for this integration. Harris County prefers an integration solution based upon a common case and party database shared by these two software systems. In other words, Harris County requires a tight integration of its jail management and court case management systems.
The project is intended to replace the legacy jail management system and the three (3) legacy court case management systems currently used in Harris County. The system will ultimately serve eight (8) different court divisions and a total of ninety-eight (98) courts.
Harris County Legacy Systems for Jail Management and Court Case Management
The concurrent implementation of a new jail management and court case management system in the fourth largest county in the country would be a formidable task under any circumstances. However, the degree of difficulty and the effort required to successfully migrate all of these legacy systems while unifying three different court case management systems into a Unified Court Case Management system amount to an enormous challenge. Add to that the need to re-engineer the depth of business integration between our jail management and court management systems attained through 30 years of local system development. Prospective vendors should thoroughly consider the risks involved with this project before submitting a proposal.
2. Integrated Justice
Our over-arching requirement for a new jail management and court case management systems is its ability to support Integrated Justice – the seamless flow of the information required for the administration of justice. Integrated Justice ensures that all authorized users have appropriate access to an all-encompassing view of court cases and related person files. Integrated Justice ensures that everyone managing a case or person in the justice system has the right information at the right time in the right format.
The concept of “Integrated Justice” was first realized here in Harris County more than thirty years ago. It defines our business plan for the administration of justice. It defines our management plan for the collaborative development of integrated justice information systems. It defines our culture and the way we approach our business challenges. It is crucial to our ability to administer justice efficiently and effectively in the fourth largest urban area in the United States.
Absolutely essential to the success of Integrated Justice is Harris County’s ability to be independent and self-sufficient in the maintenance, support, and evolution of our court case management and jail management software. Proposals to provide Harris County with functional software for court case management and jail management must also address two supporting requirements:
• The requirement for system ownership. Proposals must also include a provision for Harris County to take full possession of these systems, their source code and their database schema, so that these systems can be maintained and developed with no further support from, or obligation to, the system provider.
• The requirement for a co-development program. Harris County cannot effectively assume ownership of these systems until its technical teams have become proficient with the architecture, source code, database schema, software engineering tools and enabling technologies used to construct these applications. Proposals must include a provision for Harris County technical teams to co-develop new functionality as an extension of the vendor’s integrated development environment. (Note: the co-development program is not intended to produce the system itself. Harris County is requesting proposals to implement functional software products for court case management and jail management. Co-development is intended to begin once these systems have been successfully deployed.
These requirements are further explained in Sections 16 and 17 of this Request for Proposals.
3. Coordination of Jail Management and Court Case Management System Projects
Harris County will accept proposals from vendors who offer only one of these two system solutions. Harris County may choose to deploy and integrate systems from two different vendors, but preference will be given to vendors who can provide both systems as well as the systems integration required for transaction processing and information sharing. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and each of the eight (8) Harris County court divisions seek to converge on a single system solution, but all of these stakeholders will make individual decisions about the proposals submitted.
4. Architecture Guidelines for Proposals
Harris County already has a significant investment in Microsoft technologies and intends to leverage those investments by building upon an architectural foundation based on the Microsoft .Net framework (version 2.0 or higher) and the Microsoft SQL Server database (version 2005 or higher).
Vendors that offer technology built on the Microsoft .Net framework 2.0 and above will be considered for this project. If the vendor is not based on the Microsoft .Net framework, Harris County will accept proposals but the vendor shall provide additional information on their architecture, its distinct advantages, and how the software can be integrated with other .Net applications that already exist in Harris County.
5. Architecture Requirements
The software shall be based on a web-based architecture or proven web technologies that allow the system to be distributed seamlessly over the web. Harris County prefers a pure web-based environment but will consider alternative architectures that provide web-based delivery and interfaces for developing additional web-based features and services.
The software shall be architected to perform well in a high volume transaction environment, multi-threaded, and be based on an n-tiered architecture. Transaction processing shall handle concurrency, caching, connection pooling, load balancing, and other methods of optimization. The system as a whole shall provide an appropriate level of failover, transaction management, and stateless design sufficient to support a high volume of concurrent users in many locations and a 24×7 operation.
The software shall be based on modular design principles (or OOP) that enforce reusability, consistency, scalability, and an appropriate level of separation between the tiers of the application. The software shall have the ability to “plug-in” and/or “decouple” modules to some degree. Harris County may have a desire to implement its own modules (e.g., electronic document management systems) and therefore, the vendor shall provide a means to integrate external .net applications for specific functionality. Additionally, the vendor shall provide Harris County with a mechanism to integrate external applications directly with modules of the application through web services, API of some sort, and/or direct access to base classes. The vendor should provide details of how modules can be deployed in stages.
The software shall support a service-oriented architecture from the perspective of having the ability to integrate external applications via a message bus, support for XML messaging, XML data exchange, and support for a data-driven workflow architecture that allows for the application to be configured and administered with as few code changes as possible.
The workflow of the system shall be configurable by providing administrators and developers with the ability to configure and adjust the steps of a business process as necessary to meet requirements. The workflow shall have the ability to be event-driven or rules-based.
The system shall support full deployment into an existing .Net development environment with source-code control, unit testing, and deployment.
In summary, each vendor shall provide sufficient details of their architecture that supports the above reference criteria. Harris County expects to receive proposals that detail the distinguishing characteristics of the vendor’s technology and the vendor’s openness to co-development, integration, and customizing the application to meet Harris County’s business requirements.
6. Required Features for Integrated Justice in Harris County
6.1 Source Code and Database Schema
The vendor shall supply Harris County with full source code and database schema including but not limited to all methods, objects, base classes, user controls, data readers, data access objects, DDL statements, and any other source code required to support co-development or co-deployment programs. The source code shall be accompanied by any and all development environment requirements such as code generation tools, unit testing tools, and deployment tools. Any additional software required to support full access to source code and development environments shall be clearly stated and outlined in the response. Source code shall be based on Microsoft .Net 2.0 or higher.
6.2 Master Data Management
System shall support central access to case, party, and code table data maintenance and shall not replicate or duplicate master reference data unless absolutely required by Harris County.
6.3 External System Integration via direct access/message bus/web services/SOA
The system shall support the transparent integration of external systems such as electronic document management systems, jury management systems, jail management systems, electronic filing systems, online payment systems, fingerprint and biometric identification systems, data warehousing systems for business intelligence, and financial management systems for County government. This integration may also include use of the CMS accounting engine for financial transactions initiated in other justice subsystems (e.g., fees assessed and receipted through a J2EE Supervision Management system). Integration of these systems shall be supported by direct access to vendor source code modifications or database access standards, web services, or Service-Oriented Architecture based on a message bus.
6.4 Configurable Workflow
The system shall support an end-user (administrator) configurable workflow that manages the flow of transactions and events for court case management.
6.5 System Defaults Setup by Field
System defaults shall be configurable by system administrator.
6.6 Configurable On-Screen Edits by Field
The system shall support the ability for Harris County to define and configure on-screen edits and business rules related to data entry. For example, Harris County would enter a valid range or type of value for a specific field and the system would enforce that rule.
6.7 Lookup Table Management/ Lists
All system lookup tables shall be accompanied by a front-end that supports the administration of those lookup tables.
6.8 Document Storage and Retrieval
The system shall allow for document storage associated to any entity or attribute (e.g., case, person, docket, etc.). The system should be capable of integrating a third-party electronic document management system.
Security in the system shall support Microsoft Active Directory integration and offer the ability to manage role-based security down to the screen and field level. It must also support single sign on across Windows security domains. The system must also support external security solutions such as forms-based authentication. The system must not transmit sensitive data to client workstations, and other data sent to client workstations should be encrypted.
6.10 Web Access
System shall support access to base classes by developers from other web applications developed by Harris County. Harris County will be building front-end access to public over the web and requires the ability to interface with the application source code and database from the web where necessary. Such access shall not be limited to read-only access but will include the ability for the public to submit information into the systems. For this purpose, the middle and back-end tiers will need to support a pure .Net web-based front-end utilizing anonymous access and forms authentication. Any changes necessary to support such access will need to be explained in the Technical Requirements Survey for Integrated Justice
6.11 Database Accessibility
The database from the vendor shall be documented and accessible to Harris County developers directly and via web services.
6.12 Operational Reporting
Transaction reporting shall be supported from the system. The system shall support predefined standard reports and provide the ability for Harris County to add new reports as needed. There shall be sufficient audit logging of transactions.
6.13 OCA Reporting Compliance
The Texas Office of Court Administration requires monthly reports of business activity measures and key performance indicators. The system must produce these reports in compliance with OCA specifications.
6.14 NIEM/GJXDM Compliance
XML outputs from the system shall provide to Harris County developers the ability to configure the system for full compliance with NIEM/GJXDM requirements for data exchanges.
615 Scope, Volume, and Scalability
The Harris County judicial system is the fourth largest in the United States.
6.16 Assessing Compliance with Harris County Requirements for Integrated Justice
A TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS SURVEY FOR INTEGRATED JUSTICE is included with this Request for Proposals. Two versions of this survey must be completed and submitted as part of the vendor’s response. One version is for jail management software and the other is for court case management software.
An RFP RESPONSE EVALUATION SHEET is embedded in Section 14 (Implementation Proposal for the Harris County Clerk). This survey must be completed and submitted as part of the vendor’s response.
7. Progressive Acquisition
Harris County intends to implement a new court case management system through a process of Progressive Acquisition. The project will progress through a series of non-binding service contracts that support the preparations required for system transition. Only when these steps have been successfully completed will Harris County proceed to licensing the software for actual use.
Three Phases for Progressive Acquisitions
Gap Analysis: the discovery of site-specific requirements that must be provided before the system is implemented for actual use. (See Section 15: Gap Analysis Proposal).
Transition Services: solutions for the site-specific requirements discovered through Gap Analysis activities. The intended outcome of the Gap Analysis is a specific Statement of Work to provide Transition Services. These solutions may or may not require the following services from the vendor:
• Development Services: programming for any new functionality required to support Integrated Justice in Harris County. Its successful completion is contingent upon Harris County’s user acceptance testing
• Developer Training and Support Services: orientation and technical support for Harris County application programmers, database developers, and system integrators
• System Administrator Training and Support Services: orientation and technical support for Harris County system administrators, database administrators, and network administrators
• Data Conversion Services: design, construction, and/or execution of ETL programs to transition legacy data into the new court case management system
• System Configuration and Tuning Services: setting up the system for use. Required services may include entry of business rules for workflow management; specification of code table values, fine and fee schedules, and report production schedules; configuration of servers and databases for optimal performance; on-site load testing, import of document templates for document production applications, etc.
• Project Management Services: coordination of vendor activities and County activities. Required services may include providing a project manager, developing and managing project timelines and action plans, facilitating project assessments, etc.
• User Training Services: a “train the trainer” program for supervisors and system analysts with a provision for Harris County to produce its own set of the system provider’s end-user manuals, curriculum, and training materials
Implementation: a completed transition into the productive use of the system for managing cases in the courts of Harris County and prisoners in the Harris County jails. Implementation will include the following:
1. Licensing Agreement: authorizing the deployment of the new systems in Harris County
2. Maintenance Agreement: providing for the deployment of updates, bug fixes, patches and new releases of the systems as needed. This contract also provides for problem resolution support as needed.
8. Phased Deployments for Jail Management
Prospective Deployment Model
Harris County intends to deploy its new jail management in phases. The first phase is a rapid deployment of basic functionality for facilities management. Functionality for central records management, booking, receiving, and releasing will be deployed in subsequent iterations planned in conjunction with the deployment of the new court case management system for Harris County’s criminal court divisions.
All of these deployments will require integration with other information systems in Harris County and also at the state and federal level. The vendor will be required to provide Harris County with systems integration solutions for transaction processing and information sharing with these external systems. The vendor will provide integration solutions to the new Court Case Management system as a part of the deployment of that system to Harris County’s criminal court divisions. A complete set of systems integration requirements for the Jail Management system and technical specifications for their solutions will be delivered by the vendor at the conclusion of the Gap Analysis engagement (see Section 15).
9. Phased Deployments for Court Case Management
Prospective Deployment Model
Harris County intends to implement the new system in one court division at a time, thus requiring eight (8) separate deployment plans. Our goal is to complete all eight implementations in five years or less.
The system will first be implemented in the four (4) County Civil Courts at Law as a pilot program managed by the Harris County Clerk’s Office. That phase is intended to be followed by implementation in the four (4) County Probate Courts. Approximately 200 end users will be included in the initial implementation for the County Civil and Probate Courts.
For some court divisions, all courts will transition together. For others (e.g., JP Courts), the courts will transition individually.
All of these deployments will require integration with other information systems in Harris County and also at the state and federal level. The vendor will be required to provide Harris County with systems integration solutions for transaction processing and information sharing with these external systems. The vendor will provide integration solutions to the new Jail Management system as a part of the deployment to our criminal court divisions. A complete set of systems integration requirements for the Court Case Management system and technical specifications for their solutions will be delivered by the vendor at the conclusion of the Gap Analysis engagement (see Section 15).
As the initial implementation in the County Civil and Probate Courts moves forward, the Gap Analysis will also begin for the other court divisions and for the Jail Management system project. The overall implementation plan will thus require over-lapping threads of work and may require coordination of effort with a second system provider.
10. Multiple Instances of the Court Case Management System
Each Court Division or group of Court Divisions may choose to implement a separate instance of the Case Management software. Other system configuration issues such as the need for load-balancing might also result in more than one instance of the system. Therefore, Harris County will require an implementation and integration plan and a licensing model that can accommodate the deployment of multiple instances of the court case management system.
Hypothetical Implementation Model
However, the vision for this project is to develop a Unified Court Case Management system for all Harris County court divisions. In the interest of achieving that goal, Harris County will minimize the number of system instances required. The hypothetical model shown above is only intended to represent the system agility that might be needed.
If multiple instances of the system are required, these various instances will need to be integrated with one another to provide a unified/consolidated view of person and case data and a means of sharing data to facilitate exchanges such as case transfers between court divisions. Additional integration solutions will be needed to incorporate supporting systems such as electronic document management systems, jury management systems, jail management systems, electronic filing systems, online payment systems, fingerprint and biometric identification systems, data warehousing systems for business intelligence, and financial management systems for County government.
Each installation may have some differences in features but the core application shall remain intact through configuration management, source code control, and managed deployments. Clearly, there will be some challenges in managing multiple instances of a single application with varying feature sets. Harris County would like the vendor to propose a set configuration management, change control, and project management procedures that can help mitigate the risk of such an implementation.
Vendor proposals must include a flexible configuration management solution to support and integrate multiple instances of the court case management system.
11. Functional Requirements for Jail Management and Court Case Management
Functional requirements for the Harris County courts span a wide variety of case types (e.g., traffic, criminal, civil, probate, family, juvenile, and other more specialized caseloads). Vendors responding to this Request for Proposals must be able to provide a case management system that can manage a broad spectrum of case types with varying business rules and functional requirements
Any need for the custom development of new case management functionality for the State District Courts, Justice Courts, and County Criminal Courts at Law will be specified as an outcome of the Gap Analysis engagement that begins the progressive acquisition of these systems (see Section 15).
However, functional requirements for an immediate implementation in the Harris County Civil and County Probate Courts are included Section 14 (Implementation Proposal for the Harris County Clerk).
Any need for the custom development of new functional requirements for jail management and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office will be specified as an outcome of the Gap Analysis engagement that begins the progressive acquisition of this system (see Section 15). The Harris County Jail Management Business Process Model is included as Appendix A. Workflow diagrams for these jail management business processes is included as Appendix B. Functional requirements for a jail management system supporting Harris County business processes are provided in Appendix C.
12. Proposal Components
Written responses to this Request for Proposals must include five (5) components:
• A pricing framework for Software Licensing, System Maintenance, and Technical Services Engagements (Jail Management and Court Case Management may be priced separately, but Harris County prefers a consolidated pricing framework from a single vendor to provide both systems).
• A proposal for the Harris County Clerk to implement the system in the Harris County Civil Courts at Law and Harris County Probate Courts.
• A proposal for a Gap Analysis for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (jail management) the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law, State District Courts, and Harris County Justice Courts.
• A proposal for a co-development plan that enables Harris County to modify and extend the system with new functionality.
• A proposal for Harris County to take full possession of the system and its source code and database schema so that the system can thereafter be maintained and developed independently with no further support from or obligation to the system provider.
Specific requirements for these proposal components are provided in the following sections of this Request for Proposals.
13. Pricing and Licensing Proposal
Please provide in writing the costs, terms and conditions for
• Licensing the system for use (an enterprise licensing model is preferred)
• Deploying more than one instance of the system
• Adding new courts and/or court divisions to the user community
• Scaling the system to support additional courts and/or court divisions
• Installing any third-party software required to deploy, utilize, and support the system
• System maintenance (please specify any support needs not provided through the maintenance agreement)
• Engaging vendor staff to provide technical services for custom development of additional functionality, data conversion, system configuration and tuning, project management, user training, technical training, and technical support
• Installing the software in a Harris County “lab environment” to support on-site Gap Analysis activities for functional requirements, configuration requirements, deployment planning, and co-development processes
• Supporting the Harris County justice community as a co-developer of the system as described in the vendor’s Co-Development proposal
A form for submitting the pricing and licensing proposal is included in this Request for Proposals immediately following the statement of Special Requirements.
14. Implementation Proposal for the Harris County Clerk (County Civil and Probate Courts)