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Focus On Series

Planning, Delivery, and Benefits Realisation of Major Asset Investment: The Gateway Review Process

VIC Planning Delivery and Benefits Realisation of Major Asset Investment The Gateway Review ProcessAudit Summary

Publication Date:
May 2013

Audit Office:
Victorian Auditor General’s Office (Australia)

Link to full report:

Audited Entity

  • Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF)

Audit Scope and Objectives

This audit assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of Gateway Review Process (GRP). This involved assessing:

  • DTF’s management and administration of GRP;;
  • The contribution of GRP to improving the management and delivery of major asset projects.

The audit examined the management and administration of the GRP, including the systems and processes used to identify projects for review, and the conduct, timing, cost and resourcing of reviews. The audit examined the relationship and interaction between the GRP and the HVHR project assurance framework. It also examined DTF’s broader role in developing and disseminating lessons learned from Gateway reviews.

Audit Criteria

  • Not publicly available

Main Audit Findings

  • The GRP is a valuable concept capable of assisting better performance in project delivery. DTF provides high-quality materials to guide participation in the GRP and has effective processes in place to select, engage and train Gateway reviewers.;
  • However, the implementation of the GRP in Victoria reflects a number of missed opportunities. The audit identified 62 projects valued at $4.3 billion that were not included in the GRP between 2005 and 2012.;
  • DTF cannot demonstrate that over that period it actively and consistently identified projects that may have been candidates for the GRP. This meant the process was largely applied on an opt in decision by agencies and not all high-risk projects were subject to review. As a result, the fundamental objective for the GRP—to improve the management and delivery of significant projects—has not been fully met.;
  • Further missed opportunities resulted from projects commencing the GRP, only to drop out of the process after completing a few Gates. No single project has completed the full suite of Gateway reviews since its introduction in 2003. This means that the benefits from applying the GRP have not been fully realized.;
  • DTF has not measured the impact of the GRP on projects. It has not tracked agency action taken on Gateway recommendations, which is a fundamental success indicator for the GRP, and so cannot demonstrate whether the GRP has resulted in any benefit to individual projects.;
  • Finally, DTF has missed opportunities to use the GRP to build public sector project management and review capability. It has not done enough to capture and share lessons learned from Gateway reviews and the participation of public sector staff as Gateway reviewers is very low.

Audit Recommendations

The Department of Treasury and Finance should:

  • Systematically validate whether projects should be subject to Gateway review, by verifying that robust project risk assessments are completed for new projects.;
  • Re-establish an oversight committee for the Gateway Review Process and report regularly to government on Gateway activity and impacts.;
  • Strengthen Gateway Review Process quality assurance processes.;
  • Track and report on the impact of the Gateway Review Process on improving the outcomes of completed projects.;
  • Actively monitor agency action in response to Gateway review recommendations.;
  • Complete the database for sharing lessons learned from Gateway reviews and build case studies to better demonstrate key lessons.