January 25, 2022

Report: “Free PACER Advocates Say $2 Billion Estimate is Out of Touch”

From FedScoop:

Building a new online system that will make federal court records free to the public will cost far less than a rumored $2 billion, according to former government technologists and IT experts.

In a letter sent Tuesday to the Judicial Conference of the United States, representatives from the Free Law Project — a nonprofit that provides free access to legal materials — laid out what they see as the true cost of a new case management and electronic case filing system: $10 million to $20 million over 36 months for the build, and then less than $5 million annually to maintain.


The $2 billion estimate may come from California’s failed attempt to create an electronic court system, which the state abandoned in 2012 after it became too expensive. The Free Law Project said it based its estimate on the cost of a recently completed e-filing system that 18F helped create for the United States Tax Court.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.