Presenting the NSW Government with oversight of NSW’s infrastructure program
Projects must be delivered on time and within budget and meet community expectations for quality and functionality. As they are taking place in established communities, it’s also important to minimise their impact on everyday life and involve local people in the decisions that shape their lives.
Infrastructure NSW works behind the scenes to support these goals. Since 2015, one of our major tools has been the Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework (IIAF).
The IIAF applies to capital projects with a value of $10 million and above, being developed, procured or delivered by General Government agencies and Government Businesses.
The Assurance Framework consists of:
This tiered, risk-based approach to the assurance evaluation ensures that the focus is on the most important and complex projects. The process is confidential to each project, and advice is provided to the NSW Government, as the investor, through regular reporting.
This approach enables “red flags” to be raised and an opportunity for interventions to be ordered to ensure projects are delivered on-time, on-budget, and in accordance with the NSW Government’s objectives.
The IIAF is the applicable Gateway Coordination Framework under the NSW Gateway Policy. The NSW Gateway Policy is administered by NSW Treasury.
The Oversight Framework for the NSW Infrastructure Program has been developed in response to observations from assurance reviews showing that clusters responsible for delivering projects implement a variety of project oversight approaches with mixed results. The Oversight Framework and accompanying Guide aims to improve accountability and transparency in project oversight and decision-making, foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement and establish practices to monitor, evaluate financial reporting and performance, staff performance and decision-making effectiveness.
For more information on project assurance managed by Infrastructure NSW, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the investor assurance process, Infrastructure NSW provides independent advice to delivery agencies and direct reporting to the NSW Cabinet and the Minister for Infrastructure. This independent advice and reporting seeks to proactively contribute to the delivery of the Government’s key infrastructure projects to time, budget and in accordance with government objectives.
The key components of the independent investor assurance process include:
Infrastructure NSW continuously monitors project status and findings of Gateway Reviews and Health. This includes:
Regular Project Reporting
Infrastructure NSW prepares regular project reports which provide an assessment of project development and delivery against:
In line with the risk based assurance approach, a project’s Tier informs the reporting intervals and level of detail required.
To support regular project reporting, delivery agencies provide Infrastructure NSW with timely and comprehensive project information. Reports are lodged by the relevant delivery agency after Secretary or delegated executive officer approval is given.
Regular project reporting is required monthly for Tier 1 – High Profile / High Risk projects, and quarterly for Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects.
Gateway, Health Check and Deep Dive Reviews
The IIAF Gateway Review process provides for a series of short, focused, independent expert reviews, held at key decision points in a project’s lifecycle.
The Gateway Reviews are appraisals of infrastructure projects, that highlight risks and issues, which if not addressed may threaten successful delivery.
Gateway Reviews are supported by periodic Health Check Reviews which assist in identifying issues that may emerge between decision points. Health Check Reviews are carried out by an independent team of experienced practitioners (industry experts including from the private sector), appointed by Infrastructure NSW.
Deep Dive Reviews are like Health Check Reviews but focus on a specific issue or limited terms of reference rather than the full range of issues normally considered at a Health Check Review.
The role of the Review Team
Gateway Reviews are conducted by independent, experienced practitioners, appointed by Infrastructure NSW to form a Review Team. Practitioners appointed to a Review Team are selected according to each project / program’s needs, and to provide a mix of skills, knowledge and experience.
The independence of the Review Team from the project together with the independent features of Infrastructure NSW is the key to delivering objective, high quality reviews and review Reports.
During a Gateway Review, the Review Team interview key stakeholders and review relevant documents. This enables the independent review team to identify project risks and provide recommendations on how these should be addressed, as well as identify opportunities to complement delivery of a project or program.
Insights sharing and capability development
To remain effective at shaping how the State’s public sector delivers major public infrastructure, the IIAF must keep evolving.
Continuous improvement is critical, and lessons learned play an important role.
Each year, Infrastructure NSW analyses all data collected during the IIAF process and provides the NSW Government with a report on key findings.