ARLINGTON, Va; Dec. 9, 2014 – The majority of citizens surveyed by Accenture in seven countries (69 percent) say the increased use of digital technologies could improve the justice system in their countries. In contrast, the vast majority (87 percent) of those respondents who have interacted with the justice system prior to the survey say they have not experienced any benefits from these technologies as they were not available to them during their interaction.
Survey respondents – representing Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States – also believe new digital technologies have the potential to both reduce the processing times of court cases (63 percent) and reduce administrative costs (62 percent). Additionally, 82 percent of citizens said they would be willing to interact with their justice agency using digital technologies either instead of, or in addition to, face-to-face contact. According to the survey, those willing to interact with their justice system via digital technology were especially receptive to using video conferencing technology (67 percent), email (62 percent) and online citizen information portals (59 percent).
“The survey findings show strong support from citizens for technologies that can make interaction with their justice systems more convenient and efficient, while also reducing case processing times and administrative costs,” said James Slessor, who leads Accenture’s global public safety business. “Citizens want increased access to public services and are more inclined to use digital channels to conduct routine government business and manage their interactions with government agencies.”
Of the respondents who had previously interacted with their justice system, a majority (61 percent) were satisfied with their overall experience. However, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) believe the speed and efficiency of the courts could be improved and more than half (61 percent) of those surveyed say they want improved communication of case progress and increased clarity on court processes.
“Justice agencies across the world face considerable challenges as they tackle significant workloads while seeking to reduce operating costs, better manage information and human resources and deliver an improved experience to the citizen,” Slessor said. “The survey findings demonstrate how important it is for justice agencies to continue to adopt new digital technologies and tools that can meet the needs of citizens, better manage administrative processes and reduce costs.”
More than half (56 percent) of U.S. respondents say they have had personal interaction with a justice agency, the highest percentage of respondents in any of the countries represented in the survey. Additionally:
- A majority of U.S. respondents (70 percent) who have had interacted with the justice system were satisfied with their experience. This was the second highest satisfaction rate among citizens in the seven countries studied.
- More than half of those surveyed in the United States believe digital technology has the potential to speed up case outcomes (53 percent), reduce administrative costs (56 percent) and make the U.S. justice system more convenient (57 percent).
- However, the majority of U.S respondents who have interacted with the justice system to date (85 percent) say they have not experienced any benefits from digital technologies during those interactions.
- A majority of U.S. citizens who say they are willing to interact with the justice system via digital technology are willing to do so using video conferencing technologies (66 percent) email (59 percent) and online citizen information portals (57 percent).
- The majority of U.K. citizens (75 percent) who have interacted with their justice agency were satisfied with the service they received, which was the highest satisfaction rate across all markets studied. This contrasts with Italy, where less than half (35 percent) of Italian respondents say they were satisfied with the service they received.
- Respondents from Italy were most confident that digital technologies have the potential to reduce case processing times (75 percent) and public costs (69 percent). This contrasts with the U.K., where only half (50 percent) of respondents believe new technologies can reduce case processing times and reduce personal costs for the individuals involved.
- Of those willing to interact with the justice system via digital technology, more than three-fourths of respondents from Spain (78 percent) would be willing to do so using video-conferencing. This contrasts with just over half of respondents from France (55 percent) and Germany (55 percent).
Accenture surveyed a total of 3,503 citizens across the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Australia from April 12th to April 28th, 2014 via an online quantitative survey. The research was fielded by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) to capture attitudes around the use of digital technology in the justice system across a range of different case types in each country. The survey has a margin of error of ±1.66 percentage points at the global level and ±4.38 percentage points at the individual country level (N=approximately 500 each).
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com
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