So what happened? Why has the federal courts’ IT system stagnated despite more money? The answer, unsurprisingly, is that the money has gone elsewhere.
Bureaucracies and budgets … if there is money unspent in one at the end of the year …
The bottom line is that fixing PACER is not a technological challenge, but a political one, and technology has yet to solve the problem of getting the politically powerful to focus on the right things at the same time.
I admin a lot of weird one-off applications where I work. Last week, PACER dropped into my lap as a direct result of the upgrade mentioned in the article above. I can attest to the very dated interface. In fact I probably hadn’t seen PACER in over a decade and it looked and acted just as it did back then. I have never understood how this system is allowed to charge anyone fees because all the information it contains is public information. Compare to NASA which makes an incredible amount of information available for everyone – researchers and citizens – easily accessible and free.