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Collinson Grant has a successful record of improving efficiency and streamlining processes in central Government departments.

The Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) was set up in 2004 as a trilateral organisation to spur and join up improvement in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Now hosted by the Ministry of Justice, it is responsible for a major programme of reform in the administration of justice.

Our aim was to help the OCJR to transform the way it works with front-line CJS agencies. The programme was called the Beacon Approach. We have advised on how to help Local Criminal Justice Boards acquire the skills to drive reform. We have worked directly with practitioners in the Police, the Courts, the Crown Prosecution Service, Youth Offender Teams and the Probation Service. This revealed practical ways to resolve long-standing problems and to focus reform efforts in areas where sustainable gains in efficiency and effectiveness can be made.

The task was to draw up and run a comprehensive programme for change in 10 of the 42 criminal justice areas in England and Wales, covering around 45% of the CJS. This work was based on earlier pilots we had managed. We helped to develop the 'waterfall' tool to find out how to boost performance by identifying inefficiencies in the system and improving local processes to resolve these, and how to manage the overall reform portfolio more effectively. The result is that the LCJBs are increasingly developing a better understanding of their local priorities and will use this to target their reform to provide better value for money for the taxpayer.

The results from the pilots at the ten Beacon sites have provided the OCJR with clear, tangible evidence for the way forward. Benefits include intangible advances such as closer working and better cooperation in and between agencies and OCJR. These, combined with the potential for real financial benefits as the local plans are developed and implemented, have given the OCJR a compelling rationale for transforming the way in which the Criminal Justice System can continue to be reformed.