Kuwaiti legal agency and the challenge of Enterprise Content Management

Kuwait's Department of Legal Advice and Legislation implemented a FileNet Enterprise Content Management solution to provide up-to-date legal information on demand.


The Kuwaiti Department of Legal Advice and Legislation (DLAL) is the 'lawyer' for the government of Kuwait. Their job is to provide legal opinions to the council of Ministries, Ministers, Government Departments and Government bodies such as the Public Authorities and Corporations.


The DLAL also represents the Government, Public Authorities and Corporations in litigation in courts of law and arbitration tribunals, drafts decrees, acts and regulations on behalf of the Ministers, and reviews contracts.


The challenge


When you're the legal counsel for the government of Kuwait, you need accurate, up-to-date information on demand. Whether the Kuwaiti government is setting up a new organization, implementing a new law or writing a contract, just like everyone else, they need the best possible legal advice. Providing that advice requires the most accurate, up-to-date information available.


The challenge is that the volume of information required for this legal research is huge. Lawyers need access to Kuwait's constitution, all court rulings, Emiri decrees, all issues of the government newspaper, and records of the main laws from all Arab nations in the Gulf and surrounding area, and the volumes of new information pouring in daily need to be sorted, categorized, and filed. Managing the information was becoming overwhelming.


“Our previous system was creating too many problems for us,” said Zahra Al-Matrouk, MIS Manager for the DLAL. “It was a card-based filing system, which was unable to cope with the volumes of information we need to manage and access.”


Not only is more and more information being generated every day for the DLAL, that information is expected to be available on demand. As the world moves into an internet economy, people expect information to be at their fingertips in 'web time'. So, not only was the DLAL being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of information, they were also being expected to produce that information at a faster and faster rate. They needed a better system.


The FileNet solution


The DLAL was looking for a way to reduce research time, make their vast stores of information available online, reduce labour costs involved with managing the information and reduce the overall cost of maintaining the legal library.


The DLAL evaluation committee looked at several vendors to provide them with the solution to this growing problem. “We needed a vendor who could provide a turnkey project; all of the hardware, software, installation, training and entering of our backlog of information. In addition, we needed excellent after-sale service and support,” said Al-Matrouk. “We chose FileNet for their ECM solution. They have all the pieces of the puzzle we were looking for. In addition, they have a strong base in Kuwait with a great reputation for support.”


Together, the DLAL and FileNet implemented an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution that provides up-to-date legal information on demand. The system that now hosts all of Kuwait's legal information is based around FileNet's Web Services and Image Services. This technology allows documents, in English or Arabic, to be scanned and stored on optical disks within a jukebox. The current volume of the system, more than 1 million images, is growing every day. Once the documents are in electronic format, the true power of today's content management solutions can be applied. Key identifiers of each document