Client: The Armenian National Judiciary (under contract to the World Bank and DPK Consulting)

The Challenge: The Armenian judicial system was seeking to develop an independent, transparent, and responsive court system. To support those goals, the judiciary needed to enhance its strategic planning, budgeting, and human resources capacity.

Traditionally, the judiciary operated through the Ministry of Justice under the direct control of the Executive Branch, rather than as an independent branch. The judicial management body, the Council of Court Chairmen (CCC), had no direct control of judicial branch operations or budgeting and was sparsely staffed. The CCC was unable to develop strategic priorities, assist courts with preparing and defending budget requests or collect and analyze workload data. Local staff lacked training in budget preparation, expenditure monitoring and use of automated financial tools.

The judicial branch also faced numerous personnel issues. Unlike the other branches, the judiciary lacked merit or salary protections, defined job descriptions, formal recruitment, selection and evaluation procedures and a clearly developed and funded training program. These conditions created the potential for undue government interference.

Finally, there were few if any avenues for soliciting suggestions for improvements from court staff or for court users to express their views of the judicial system.

Our Approach

Over the course of one year, we:

  • Analyzed human resources and budgetary planning and operations at the CCC and in three pilot trial courts.
  • Benchmarked these practices against those in other countries.
  • Conducted an assessment of financial and human resources automation needs
  • Designed and administered the Court Performance User Satisfaction Survey.
  • Created and worked with a core group of court executives to make and present recommendations to national officials; each recommendation identified alternatives and resource requirements.
  • Provided training in strategic planning, budgeting and human resources management.

The Results

  • Proposed legislation to strengthen the financial independence of the judiciary, including direct budget submission to the legislature, direct judicial representation in the budget process and protections against reductions in already allocated funds.
  • Enhanced staffing and authority of the CCC in research and planning, advocacy, budgeting and human resources management.
  • Systems to project costs nationally, compare costs across courts, make mid-year budget adjustments and link budget requests to workload and performance measures.
  • A recommended a statutory and policy framework for human resources management, merit protections and compensation.
  • Uniform selection, performance appraisal and disciplinary policies and procedures and a code of conduct for court employees.
  • Recommendations for automated finance and personnel tracking.

Consultants: Kate Harrison working directly with Arina Hayrapetyan and other members of DPK Consulting and Ameria, Inc.

For more information about this project, please click here to request the Executive Summary.

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