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With 2018 report missing in action, Treasury reviews major projects monitoring regime

With 2018 report missing in action, Treasury reviews major projects monitoring regime

A "transparency gap" has emerged in the monitoring of major government projects

Treasury is reviewing its major projects monitoring regime

Treasury is reviewing its major projects monitoring regime

Treasury has collected data for its 2018 major projects monitoring regime, but seems unlikely to issue a report as it has done in previous years.

The regime traditionally delivers information and performance ratings on major crown investment projects each year, including ICT investments.

The last report released was an interim one in April 2017. No further reports have emerged, however, and Reseller News has been asking why.

Liz Innes, principal advisor investment management and asset performance at Treasury, said in the middle of last year, the agency decided to think again about the way investments are made in government and whether it was doing the right thing with the reports.

Potential problems with the regime included the fact Treasury could be perceived to be intervening at the investment level, duplication of oversight and responsibilities within government, and the risk of providing "false confidence" across the system.

Currently, the Government chief digital officer, Treasury and more have oversight over projects and now the new New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, announced in February, will also have procurement and delivery support functions.

In advance of the commission being established, an Infrastructure Transactions Unit was created within Treasury, to provide support to agencies and local authorities in planning and delivering major infrastructure projects. It is now moving into the new commission.

Innes said instead of intervening at the investment level there was a feeling it would be more effective to work with agencies to lift capabilities in areas such as investment planning and benefits delivery to ensure "more projects succeed more often".

Innes said risk profile assessments and project gateway reviews were continuing, so there is no gap in monitoring.

Treasury was still planning to collect project data again this year, she said: "we didn't stop collecting it because we didn't want things to go backwards."

The review has, however, led to a "gap in transparency" that Treasury was "absolutely committed" to filling when it can do so in a sustainable way that will better deliver the required outcomes.

The April interim report saw ACC's transformation, including its Juno and Analytics 2.0 ICT projects, downgraded from amber/green to amber in Treasury's three-colour scale of green to red.

That project went live in February, six months later than scheduled and after $26.4 million in "contingency" investment was applied.


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