Project Assurance

Presenting the NSW Government with independent oversight of NSW’s infrastructure program

The magnitude of the State’s ambitious infrastructure program means that a focus on ensuring major projects are delivered in a timely and cost-efficient way is critical. To ensure there is better oversight of the state's infrastructure program, the NSW Government has implemented 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 three pillars:

  • project monitoring
  • regular project reporting
  • expert and independent Gateway Reviews and Health Checks.

This tiered, risk-based approach to the assurance evaluating 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.

Questions or comments?

For more information on project assurance managed by Infrastructure NSW, please contact assurance@infrastructure.nsw.gov.au.

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Tiered approach

Elements of Investor Assurance

Elements of Investor Assurance

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.

There are three main components to the independent investor assurance process:

  • Gateway Reviews, Health Checks and Deep Dive Reviews
  • Regular project reporting based on inputs provided by delivery agencies
  • Monitoring conducted by Infrastructure NSW

Gateway Reviews and Health Checks

Infrastructure NSW’s Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework (IIAF) is a Gateway Coordination Agency (GCA) framework for capital projects in terms of the NSW Gateway Policy.

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 Checks which assist in identifying issues which may emerge between decision points. Health Checks will be carried out, when required, by an independent team of experienced practitioners (industry experts including from the private sector), appointed by Infrastructure NSW.

Deep Dive Reviews are like Health Checks but focus on a specific issue or limited terms of reference rather than the full range of issues normally considered at a Health Check.

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 independence 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.

Gateway Review requirements for projects under the IIAF are proportionate to their Tier level:

  • Tier 1 – High Profile / High Risk projects must pass through all Gates
  • Tier 2 projects must pass Gate 0 (Project Justification), Gate 1 (Strategic Assessment, and Gate 2 (Business Case)
  • Tier 3 projects must pass Gate 0 (Project Justification)
  • Tier 4 projects (lowest risk) do not require Gateway Reviews.

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Project Lifecycle Assurance

Health Checks are independent reviews conducted as required to identify/resolve issues which arise at a point in time between Gateway Reviews, and are also compulsory for Tier 1 – High Profile / High Risk projects every six months during the delivery stage.

 

Regular Project Reporting

Infrastructure NSW prepares regular project reports which provide an assessment of project development and delivery against:

  • time
  • cost
  • quality
  • risks and impediments to project development/delivery.

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.

Project Monitoring

Infrastructure NSW continuously monitors project status and findings of Gateway Reviews and Health. This includes:

  • Close-out Plans to address recommendations emerging from a Review
  • undertaking necessary steps to verify information provided by delivery agencies or prepared by Review Teams
  • seeking direct input from Expert Reviewers
  • undertaking independent analysis and developing advice on key risks, recommended corrective actions and mitigation strategies

Gateway Reviews, Health Checks and Deep Dive Reviews are conducted in accordance with the Review Workbooks (included in the ‘Resources’ tab of this webpage). 

The Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework (IIAF) provides further detail on the processes.

To complement the Review Workbooks, Infrastructure NSW provides a Terms of Reference for a Review in consultation with the responsible delivery agency and key stakeholders.

Good governance and project/program assurance calls for a single individual, the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO), as the point of accountability and strategic responsibility. To enable a successful Review to take place, the delivery agency must identify each of the parties performing the role of ‘sponsor’, ‘deliverer’ and ‘asset owner/manager or operator’, as well as the individual acting as the SRO. It is essential that the delivery agency’s SRO participates in the Gateway Review process.

Reviews are conducted by highly experienced independent Review Teams, those individuals being independent of the agency and project team. The Review Team is selected for its mix of skills, capability and experience to enable it to provide relevant assessment and advice.

For Tier 1 – High Profile/High Risk projects, independent reviewers forming the Review Team must not include individuals that are currently directly employed by the NSW Government. For Tier 2 and 3 projects, independent reviewers forming the Review Team can include individuals currently employed with the NSW Government if they are independent of the delivery agency and project team.

Review Teams are typically comprised of a Review Team Leader (RTL) and at least one Review Team Member (RTM).

 

Review Team Leader (RTL)

The RTL is tasked with the overall responsibility for the delivery of a high quality, succinct and clear Review Report. The RTL leads the Review process throughout the Project Briefing and the stakeholder interviews.

Review Team Member (RTM)

A RTM is selected due to their background, experience and specialist skills applicable to a particular project or program. A RTM works with the RTL and other RTMs to collect and evaluate evidence provided by the delivery agency (documentation and stakeholder interviews) in accordance with the Review Terms of Reference and the relevant Workbook. A RTM provides high-quality input into the final Review Report, including the Review’s recommendations.

Become a Reviewer

To express your interest in becoming a Reviewer, please contact assurance@infrastructure.nsw.gov.au to discuss next steps and specific requirements.

What the Reviewer Needs to Know  Info Sheet

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