The multiplier effect of efficiency at the start
of the value chain

Integrated Justice Value Chain© has significant untapped potential for efficiency gains. Value chain integration goes much beyond digitisation and standardisation of information exchange. Joining the links from the starting link of policing has a significant multiplier effect downstream.

Significant debate has happened over a number of years on the efficiency (lack of efficiency) of the justice value chain. While most of the partners in the justice value chain agree that joining up the justice value chain is important, there is considerable work to be done to realise the full potential of efficiency in this chain. We have been long advocating the concept of an Integrated Justice Value Chain©. While digitisation and standardisation of information exchange between the partners of this value chain has happened in many countries, substantial work still remains to be done.

There are a number of key points to truly integrate the justice value chain

  • Integrated Justice Value Chain© thinking across the entire partner landscape
  • Chain oriented thinking from the concerned ministries
  • Cross-ministerial governance
  • Full alignment of the operational processes rather than just the tweaking of isolated partner specific processes
  • Strong cross-partner governance with clear line of command
  • An integrated collaborative business blueprint
  • Legal changes required for integrating the value chain
  • Full implementation road map with quick wins embedded throughout the transformation journey
  • Cross-partner IT and programme management capability and capacity
  • Strong change management perspective to the programme
  • Digitisation is a starting point and not the end game

Delivery of change in the Justice and Public Safety market place is a complex process due to multi-agency involvement in the justice value chain and regulatory requirements. However, policing being at the start of this value chain is the key area to focus, as efficiencies generated here have a large multiplier effect on the justice value chain down the line. Consequently the benefits to the government by streamlining of processes across the chain and an effective justice system are too large to be taken lightly.

We may draw an analogy from the manufacturing industry to see the efficiency gain potential. In any factory, the ratio of finished product to the raw material needs to be kept very high in order to avoid wastage. High value addition has to be ensured at every step of the manufacturing process and the value chain. If we start looking at the number of crimes investigated vs. the numbers that are accepted by the crown prosecution services, number of court cases vs. the number of convictions, number of people re-offending etc., it is not hard to find that the level of wastage in the Justice Value Chain© is very high and not sustainable in the longer term.

It is this multiplier effect of efficiency at the start of the value chain that is critical. Legislative changes, better integration of policing with the crown prosecution services, prison services and the courts, and above all empowering the front line officers with the right information and judgement support in the field, holds the key. Current national initiatives are aimed at addressing digitisation and partial integration between only two or at the most three partner agencies (we have assumed all agencies in one link of the value chain as a single partner entity) and miss the overall value chain integration angle. It is high time that a cross-ministerial team is set up to deliver the full integration of the chain starting from the starting link of the value chain.