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The challenge

Budget constraints: Governments and public sector organisations often operate with limited resources, and face challenges in finding the funding needed to support their operations and initiatives.

Changing demographics: Public sector organisations need to adapt to changes in the population they serve, such as an aging population or an increase in diverse communities.

Public trust: Public sector agencies need to work to maintain public trust and confidence, especially in light of recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic or social unrest.

Our support:

Crest helps government agencies and organisations improve their performance and efficiency by providing expert advice and support. We work on a wide range of issues, such as organisational development, policy analysis, and programme evaluation. We also help clients develop strategies for improving service delivery, managing public resources, and engaging with citizens.

Crest’s team have led major strategic reviews for a series of UK prime ministers affecting policy reform, including on police reform. In addition, Crest’s Directors have worked in No. 10’s Policy Unit where they provided communications and expert home affairs strategy advice to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and others directly.

Expertise in the production of legislation

Crest has experience of policy making and instructing legislative teams in high stakes and sensitive environments.

We have co-designed justice devolution settlements in two of the UK’s biggest urban conurbations and are currently completing legislation drafting work for other Governments and UK Crown Dependencies.

Our team appreciates the importance of clarity, precision and using examples in conveying the policy intention to enable drafters to produce a satisfactory first version. We are creative in identifying solutions to legislative problems and finding ways to reconcile multiple conflicting objectives.

Delivering public consultations, strategic communications and stakeholder engagement

Getting a fair hearing is key to driving policy reform and implementing change. We believe consultation represents an opportunity to rally support and build a coalition which will make delivery of policy more effective and efficient in the long term.

Crest has a powerful track record of advising leaders and senior teams on how to keep their consultation process on track, navigate obstacles and hurdles and mitigate risks as they emerge. We are comfortable doing this in high stakes media and political environments, including the set up of statutory public inquiries, and the construction of governance arrangements to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination and inequality in policing.

We have experience of responding to challenge and scrutiny from potentially sceptical participants in consultations, and getting the engagement you require to demonstrate openness and hear diverse views.

Business case development

We have experience of developing business cases to support initiatives that deliver the best public value for money, including wider social and environmental effects. We use an evidence-based five case model:

  • Strategic case: provides evidence that the proposal is supported by a compelling case for change that provides a holistic fit with the relevant policy objectives.

  • Economic case: provides evidence that the proposal delivers public value to society.

  • Commercial case: demonstrates a viable procurement route between the public sector and its service providers which provides value for money.

  • Financial case: provides evidence that the proposal is affordable.

  • Management case: provides evidence that what is required from all parties involved in the proposal is achievable.

Our experience allows us to understand complexities or issues that need to be taken into consideration, such as optimism bias. In order to address that issue, we use empirically based adjustments, based on data from past or similar projects, to address estimates of a project’s costs, benefits, and duration.

This helps clients:

  • understand, influence and shape the project’s scope and direction early on in the planning process

  • understand the key issues, the available evidence base and to avoid committing resources to schemes that should not proceed

  • demonstrate to stakeholders, customers and decision makers the continuing viability of a project; and.

  • provide the basis for management, monitoring and evaluation during and after implementation.

To find out more, get in touch with Gavin Lockhart-Mirams


The UK's only consultancy dedicated to crime and justice.

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