A billionaire doctor has offered the state of California’s judiciary a rescue package for its troubled court records system upgrade project, which is four years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.
Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, who made his fortune developing the breast cancer treatment drug Abraxane, has offered California’s Administrative Office of the Courts a $20 million grant and the use of his company’s data centre, US website Courthouse News Service reported yesterday.
Soon-Shiong is interested "in ensuring that for public safety and public welfare reasons that we have the ability within the judicial branch to share material information that is critical to our decision-making," said Justice Terence Bruiniers, who described the offer as a "game-changer".
Having sold the company behind Abraxane last year, Soon-Shiong is now developing a hosting service for medical records. Courthouse News reports that the similarity between this system and the court records system is what attracted Soon-Shiong to the project. It also points out that Soon-Shiong might be in a position to capitalise on court documents should he win the right to host them.
The $2 billion court IT project was due for completion this year, but an official enquiry found that it will not be finished until at least 2015. The enquiry found that the contract with supplier Deloitte had been amended more than 100 times. "We’ve seen nothing but incompetence from the start to where we are today,” said one California judge.