Treasury has taken over the Gateway and Major Projects Monitoring Unit, formerly administered by the State Services Commission. The unit has been joined with other Treasury functions to form a new group, Portfolio Performance Management.
Treasury CFO Fergus Welsh says this provides the ability to take a broader view across the whole asset management replacement process in government, from 10-year planning horizons for major asset replacement, to portfolio management and comparison and selection of investment options; also, assurance over the project development process and benefits realisation.
He says the PPM unit works closely with other functional leads within government, particularly GCIO for ICT projects and MBIE for the procurement function, to form a multi-disciplinary monitoring team that provides assurance to Ministers throughout the development process.
“The team has just undergone the ‘lift and shift’ to the Treasury so at this early stage there have been no changes as yet to its work. However, a three-month exercise is underway to determine the best structure and role of the team. The team is working closely with GCIO in its new ICT assurance role to ensure that its work is integrated and complementary, to ensure that agency projects get good project assurance.”
Gateway was established as an assurance methodology for major investments. It is a review process that examines programs and projects at key decision points in their life cycle to provide assurance that they can progress successfully to the next stage.
It is Cabinet mandated for high-risk capital projects in departments and Crown Agents. Each review cost an agency $75,000. Agencies determined whether their projects were high-risk by completing a Risk Assessment Profile.
Gateway reviews were conducted by independent experts (private and public sector). At each “gate” the project or programme owner requested a review. SSC sent in a hand-picked team of reviewers to provide peer review support to the project team. The review team spent a week interviewing all major stakeholders and analysing available documentation. At the end of the week they wrote a short report with recommendations for the project owner.
The Gateway methodology was developed in 2001 by the UK's Office of Government Commerce. It was adopted by the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance in 2003 and the Australian Federal Government in 2006. The New Zealand Cabinet agreed to implement Gateway in 2007.
The Gateway regime applied to any Departmental or Crown Agent program or project, regardless of the size of the project or the funding source, that would expose the government to significant fiscal or ownership risk if it were not delivered within the projected functionality, cost, and timelines, and was categorised as high risk or the responsible Minister requested it be Gateway-reviewed.