UK Local Authorities implement CaseLines to future-proof operations

CaseLines enables secure remote bundle-building and allows local authorities to work sustainably during the COVID-19 pandemic

CaseLines, a secure cloud-based bundle building and sharing platform, has seen rapid adoption since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, as local authorities seek to implement flexible solutions that have been specifically designed for justice processes, which enable secure and efficient working whether teams are in the office or remote.

CaseLines has onboarded an average of one local authority per week since the UK lockdown on the 19th March 2020, resulting in a 60% increase in local authority customers. CaseLines is now used by over 30 different authorities across the UK, including four London boroughs and four South Yorkshire based local authorities. Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Rotherham Borough Council, Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and Sheffield City Council made the joint decision to implement the platform at the beginning of the COVID pandemic as they could no longer produce paper bundles for court.

Commenting on the recent momentum, Paul Sachs, Founder and CTO of CaseLines said: “The CaseLines platform has been vital in supporting local authorities responsible for child protection, helping them to operate as efficiently as possible during the pandemic as they migrate to remote working. The increased uptake from new authorities has shown us that the CaseLines solution is instrumental in future-proofing justice processes in the UK and around the world.”

The four South Yorkshire authorities are at different stages of implementation, but it has proved enormously beneficial so far for those already up and running. “CaseLines is something good that has come out of this really dreadful time, in terms of being able to work in a much more efficient and cost-effective way,” said Marianne Farrell, Team Leader, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. “We needed a digital solution that would support electronic pagination and the ability to insert new sections in the bundles, for example, for documents submitted late or out of chronological order.”

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council has successfully uploaded 80% of its cases to CaseLines, since the end of an eight-week period of remote implementation and training. CaseLines has removed the need to spend time manually paginating, printing, and distributing paper bundles, and significantly reduces logistical expenditure and the environmental impact while optimising processes. It also eliminates the need to send judges bundles split between multiple pdfs via email.

“CaseLines has revolutionised how we operate. We are pushing to get all our cases on the system ahead of time, and currently have 70% of our cases on the platform so far,” said Katie McAllister, Head of Legal Services at the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust. “Prior to CaseLines, producing bundles in a single pdf document was difficult just by virtue of their size. Having to send a bundle in four or five separate emails to one individual, then times that by the number of legal representatives as well, was inordinately time consuming. This process is greatly simplified using CaseLines.”

The latest version of CaseLines supports Microsoft Azure Active Directory with Single Sign On, a crucial development in the new normal with increased remote working. Azure Active Directory provides a central area where IT teams can manage user accounts and receive in depth user reports. They are quickly alerted when accounts are suspected to be compromised, or attempts are made to access accounts by non-authorised persons. The Single Sign On process enhances security and control for a user over their own accounts, including self-service password management, the option for multi-factor authentication, and security monitoring and alerting.

Simon Marshall, ICT Technical Security Lead, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council said: “Azure Active Directory’s Single Sign On means end users only need a single password. We can also add additional security factors on top that can check automatically if users are logging in from unknown devices. With remote working, we consider this level of security mandatory given the sensitivity of the information we’re handling, and it was very attractive that CaseLines could support this.”

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