QLD Courts announcementDawn Mahler
Auscript’s contract to provide transcription services to Queensland courts is saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year, while delivering transcripts faster and with independently certified accuracy.
Auscript Managing Director Peter Wyatt said the shift to a user-pays model for transcripts was relieving taxpayers of the cost of subsidising private legal matters and some criminal appeals. However, he said parties to criminal matters still received their material for free in 95 per cent of cases. And the Queensland Government had a scheme in place to assist in cases of hardship.
“The shift to outsourced transcription services has been a great success for Queensland,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Auscript was awarded the contract after a very rigorous tender process overseen by a probity review panel.
“We were able to secure the work based on our success interstate and nationally as Australia’s leading provider of court recording and transcription services.
“Not only has this arrangement already saved Queensland taxpayers many millions in the first year alone, but it has also resulted in the implementation of an external transcript quality assurance framework and auditing process for the first time in the Queensland Courts. As well as being audited by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Auscript is internationally certified to ISO 9001:2008 by Compliance Australia.
“For the first time ever, there are benchmarks for on-time delivery of Queensland court transcripts – benchmarks we continue to meet and exceed.
“We’ve also introduced greater cost flexibility for customers based on how quickly they need a transcript, allowing them to save money compared to pre-outsourcing arrangements.
“By any measure – accuracy, speed and cost to taxpayers, the move to outsourced transcription services in Queensland has been an outstanding success.”
Key points about the Queensland contract
- Auscript’s accuracy and quality methodology is vetted by an independent quality assessment body and certified to ISO 9001:2008.
- The Department of Justice and Attorney-General audits the quality of the transcripts, and Auscript also has a robust world class internal quality audit process.
- Transcripts have been demonstrated over time to meet or exceed the required 99 per cent accuracy levels.
- Before Auscript became the service provider there were no consistent Service Level Agreements (SLAs) relating to delivery time for transcripts. Trial transcripts were previously available on the same day, but all others (including Magistrates Court) were delivered in 4 to 6 weeks.
- Auscript is now measured against stringent SLAs, and delivers on the turnaround time selected by the end user (same day, 1 day, 2 Day, 3 Day, 5 Day and 10 Day).
- Auscript has achieved 98% on-time delivery of same-day transcripts (against a SLA of 95 per cent). All other transcripts have been delivered in line with the SLA of 95 per cent.
- Clients may also choose to receive high-quality audio recordings at a lower price than before the Auscript contract. 100 per cent of audio recordings have been captured and delivered on time.
Costs of Transcript
- Criminal Supreme and District Court Transcripts are delivered free of charge to parties to the proceedings.
- A very small proportion of criminal transcripts for Magistrate Court matters are paid for by the parties. This is no different to when the services were provided by the State. Users can choose a less-urgent delivery timeframe to save money.
- Parties involved in civil legal actions pay for transcripts, in the same way as they pay for other costs of the legal system. This cost was previously subsidised by the Queensland taxpayer but is now borne by those involved in the matter. The taxpayer no longer subsidises civil court matters as they did in the past.
- The Attorney General has estimated the savings as $2.4 million per year in direct cost reductions. Indirect savings are estimated at $4.8 million per year in areas such as provision and maintenance of recording hardware and software.
Engagement with Government
- We support both sides of the political spectrum and welcome the opportunity to engage and understand their respective visions of the future.
- Over many years personnel from Auscript and its associated companies have attended functions held by both the Labor and Liberal National Parties. These provide a valuable opportunity to hear from political leaders about their plans and vision, and to gain an insight into how the state or nation is tracking.
- All of these events comply with electoral laws and public disclosure requirements.
- We have never been asked to attend a function or make any donation related to a government contract or tender, and any suggestion of links between the two is rejected outright.
About Record Holdings Pty Ltd
Record Holdings Pty Ltd comprises two (2) wholly owned subsidiaries Auscript Australasia Pty Ltd (Auscript) and FTR Pty Ltd (FTR).
Auscript was formed in 1921 as the Commonwealth Reporting Service and then privatised in around 1992. Today Auscript employees over 475 staff around Australia and maintain offices in every capital city except Darwin. Auscript exclusive clients include The Federal Court of Australia, The Family Court of Australia, The Federal Circuit Court of Australia, The Department of the Attorney General of Western Australia, The High Court, and The Department of Justice and Attorney General in Queensland. Auscript also sits on numerous panels for recording and transcription services throughout Australia and is today the largest digital recording and transcription organisation in Australia servicing both the public and private sectors.
FTR is the global market leader in digital court recording technology and is installed in every Australian Court (except Tasmania) and Parliament (except South Australia), in 60% of digitised Courts in the USA and in over 60 countries around the world. FTR is based in Brisbane and Perth in Australia and Denver, Phoenix and Williamsburg in the USA.
Worldwide the group employs over 500 staff and is currently hiring.