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The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch
Year 2000 (Y2K) Information

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I. Background on the Millennium Bug

  • When computer memory was scarce and expensive, programmers used two digits instead of four to track the year in order to save programming space and money.
  • At the century date change, the two digits 00 may be interpreted by a computer to mean the year 1900 and result in costly and disruptive computer processing errors. Or computers may recognize the year 00 as a valid date, but perform incorrect date computations and comparisons.

II. Why Y2K has Become an Important Concern

  • Computer systems must be able to accurately process transactions on and after the January 1, 2000 date change.
  • Equipment which relies on embedded computer chips such as energy management systems, elevators, time clocks, card access systems, security systems, fire alarm systems, fax machines, mail meters, telephone systems and voice mail systems needs to function properly after the January 1, 2000 date change.
  • Mission-critical systems need to be tested, corrected and retested so that they will continue to function as required when the year 2000 arrives. This process is known as certifying systems to be Y2K compliant.
  • Judicial needs to be confident that other agencies and institutions, the States Attorney, Public Defender, Corrections, Motor Vehicles, Department of Children and Families, Department of Social Services, the Police, banks, etc. that feed data to Judicial are Y2K compliant.
  • State agencies are responsible for protecting the life, health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Connecticut. Judicial will play an important part by disposing of civil and criminal actions.

III. Judicial's Response to the Y2K Issue to Date

Embedded Systems

  • Facilities has certified that all systems containing an embedded chip in each Courthouse, Judicial building and office will function at the century date change.
  • Facilities has developed a Building Contingency Inspection and Assessment Checklist to be used on January 1, 2000 to assess building equipment, utility services, environmental climate control systems, energy management systems, elevators, fire alarm systems, lighting, clocks, security and access systems and UPS backups.
  • Facilities has tested all 13 generators and upgraded those at the designated central Command Center and backup central Command Center.
  • Materials Management has developed a Telecommunications Systems Inspection and Assessment Checklist to determine if telephone systems, voice mail systems, fax machines and emergency telephones are operational.

Judicial Information Systems (JIS)

  • JIS started its Y2K initiative in December of 1996. 93 systems were reviewed for mission critical status and 67 were chosen for testing. Currently all 67 are 100% Y2K compliant.
  • 23 Legacy Systems were tested on a Y2K compliant platform using 17 potentially disruptive dates.
  • All systems developed since 1990 have been built Y2K compliant. These include JASMIN, Bail and Child Protection.
  • All older systems such as CRMVS, Civil, Jury and Juvenile have been converted.
  • 35 End-User developed Applications were tested by the divisions. JIS tracked the progress.
  • 3 Large Miscellaneous Applications managed by people in the field were tested - OVS’s Wang system, the Supreme/Appellate System and Housing Applications.
  • 3 Proprietary Applications for COLP were tested including the Electronic Bulletin Board.
  • The VAX mainframe and the Network components have been upgraded and made Y2K compliant.
  • All 1300 Judicial PCs will be replaced with Y2K compliant PCs.
  • It is estimated that 300 – 400 of the replaced PCs can go back into the field after certification and reimaging.

Contingency Plans

  • DOIT identified 50 statewide computer systems as mission critical. Superior Court’s CRMVS and Civil System were 2 of the 50.
  • Superior Court convened a working group of Superior Court and JIS personnel to address contingency plans for computer system failure. The plans were submitted to DOIT in March 1999.
  • In April the working group conducted an Affinity exercise to flush out all relevant issues surrounding the Y2K problem.
  • In late May DOIT notified Judicial that their focus had changed from computer systems to business systems and brought in a consultant to manage the process.
  • Superior Court took the lead in Judicial Y2K contingency planning and convened three groups consisting of key personnel from each of the three divisions. Business failure scenarios were developed and submitted to DOIT in early July.
  • Each Division developed contingency plans from the failure scenarios and a Judicial Contingency Plan document was submitted to DOIT on September 1st.
  • 56% of state agencies have submitted contingency plans and had them approved. Judicial is one of them.

IV. Contingency Plan Details

  • Judicial’s contingency plan is an outline of predetermined responses and actions that will lessen confusion and ensure continued provision of business services in the event of a Y2K crisis. Judicial’s contingency plan has been built around failure scenarios that include loss of electricity, loss of telecommunications, disruption in the Detention Centers and computer system failure. The Judicial contingency plan is a concrete action plan that spells out chains of command, responsibilities, resources needed to provide services, call lists and interim task lists necessary to accomplish the goals of the plan.

State Command Center

  • The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be located in the State Armory at 360 Broad St. Hartford and will coordinate response actions by the State of Connecticut to possible disruptions caused by Y2K.
  • Disruptions will be handled in a manner similar to the State’s response to a natural disaster such as a severe winter storm.
  • The EOC will open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, December 29, 1999 and remain open 24 hours a day through the emergency or until 7 p.m. on Monday, January 3, 2000.
  • MG (Ret) David Gay will head the State’s emergency response team.
  • The Executive Director of Superior Court Operations, the Deputy Chief Court Administrator, the Director of External Affairs and the Executive Director of Administrative Services will be on call to the EOC beginning at 7 a.m. on December 29, 1999.
  • Judicial will provide twice daily situation reports to the EOC beginning on December 29.

Judicial Command Center

  • The Judicial central Command Center will be located at the Waterbury Courthouse, 400 Grand St., Waterbury.
  • The Waterbury Courthouse was chosen because the generator in the building will fully power the entire building.
  • The Hon. John J. Ronan, Deputy Chief Court Administrator will head the central Command Center.
  • The central Command Center will be staffed by the Executive Directors from Superior Court, CSSD and Administrative Services, the Director of External Affairs, Legal Counsel, a representative of the Supreme Court, the Security Manager and Facilities staff and other personnel chosen by the Executive Directors.
  • The purpose of the central Command Center is to act as a liaison between the State Command Center, other State Agency central Command Centers and the Judicial regional Command Centers. It will receive reports on field conditions, respond to emergencies, track and monitor incident responses, be a resource for questions and help, and allocate resources and staff.
  • The central Command Center will open at 5 a.m. on Saturday, January 1, 2000 and remain in operation until all Y2K issues have been resolved or Monday, January 3, 2000.
  • By 10 a.m. on January 1, 2000, the central Command Center will have received reports from each of the 13 regional Command centers concerning the status of all buildings, building systems and computer systems in the JDs.
  • The Administrative Judge from each of the JDs will be notified about the status of all buildings and systems in the JD.
  • Reported problems will be handled by central Command Center staff or in consultation with the Administrative Judge. Computer related problems will be forwarded to JIS and from there to DOIT.

Judicial Call Center

  • A Judicial Call Center to handle Y2K-related concerns from the public and staff will open on Monday, January 3, 2000 at the central Command Center.
  • The purpose of the Call Center will be to receive and disseminate pertinent information and report any unusual conditions noted from callers.

Regional Command Centers

  • A regional Command Center will be established in each Judicial District (JD) and will open at 6 a.m. on January 1, 2000.
  • Regional Command Centers will be staffed by the Administrative Judge (AJ) or designee, the Trial Court Administrator (TCA) (or Chief Clerk where the TCA heads two JDs), the Maintenance Supervisors, a representative from the Sheriff’s Office, and representatives from CSSD (IAR, Supervision, Detention and Residential) and Superior Court (Clerk’s Office and Support Enforcement).
  • The purpose of the regional Command Center is to liaison with the central Command Center and local offices of other state agencies, report on conditions in the JD, be the focal point for all JD issues, determine the proper site for court proceedings if proceedings cannot be conducted in existing facilities and allocate resources and staff within the JD.
  • Beginning at 6 a.m on Saturday, January 1, 2000 all Judicial buildings, building systems and computer systems will be checked.
  • Two teams will be assigned to each Courthouse, Judicial building and office. One team headed by the Building or Site Supervisor will test building systems, security systems and telecommunication systems. The second team consisting of Superior Court and CSSD representatives will test computer systems.
  • Each team will issue status reports on their findings to their respective regional Command Centers by 10 a.m. This information will be relayed to the central Command Center.
  • The central Command Center will in turn notify the Administrative Judge in each JD.
  • AJ s will have the authority to close court in their JD using Operation Snowball if buildings are reported to be uninhabitable.
  • Building, security and telecommunication systems will again be checked on Monday, January 3, 2000 and the information relayed to the regional Command Center.

Communication

  • External Affairs will staff both the Judicial central Command Center and the State Emergency Operations Center and will coordinate all information released about the Judicial Branch, report developments to the central Judicial Command Center and field questions from the press, other State agencies and Legislators. In addition External Affairs will be at the planning sessions prior to the Governor’s twice-daily media briefings.

Miscellaneous

  • Judicial will contract for Police coverage at the central Command Center, 101 Lafayette St and each of the 3 Detention Centers. In addition to providing backup coverage in case of a disturbance, the Police will have radios in the event of a telecommunication failure and can also assist with medical emergencies.
  • State vehicles will be assigned to each Command Center. In case of a telecommunication failure, the state vehicles will ferry information back and forth between any point in the state.

Conducting Judicial business functions during building or system failure

  • In the event a Courthouse is uninhabitable, the AJ will determine where arraignments will be conducted.
  • Should computer systems fail, Court Operation staff will utilize a manual system to process cases. Training for court personnel will take place in November.
  • CSSD has developed alternate procedures for bail interviews and intensive supervision.
  • Detention has a contingency plan for evacuating Bridgeport Detention during power failure. Bridgeport Detention does not have a generator.
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