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Published August 2006
The Guidance on the Gateway Review Process - A Project Assurance Methodology for the Australian Government (the Guidance) provides an introduction and practical information on the process and requirements of Gateway and how it can help to improve the successful delivery of projects. It is aimed at FMA agencies, Gateway reviewers, Project Teams and other potential participants.
This Guidance includes information about the steps in a Gateway Review, roles and responsibilities, confidentiality and the handling of reports.
Guidance on the Gateway Review Process - A Project Assurance Methodology for the Australian Government - August 2006 [ 629 KB]
Guidance on the Gateway Review Process - A Project Assurance Methodology for the Australian Government - August 2006 [ 2.7 MB]
In November 2005, the Australian Government endorsed, through Cabinet decision, the adoption of the United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce, (OGC) Gateway Review Process™ (Gateway).
OGC developed Gateway to improve the delivery of major projects and introduced it in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2000. The Victorian Government adopted the methodology in 2003. Since its inception, over 1700 Gateway reviews have been conducted in the UK and over 100 reviews have been conducted in Victoria.
The application of Gateway in the UK and Victoria has demonstrably benefited project delivery through:
The formal feedback mechanism that forms part of the Gateway process in the UK and Victoria strongly indicates that participants find Gateway beneficial. The benefits demonstrated in these jurisdictions have been assessed as clearly transferable to the Australian Government's environment. The adoption of Gateway is a further tool to improve the on-time and on-budget delivery of major projects undertaken by Australian Government Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies (FMA agencies). Importantly, it supports project teams by providing them with an independent information resource that can add value to their project (for example, by the early identification of issues that may need to be addressed).
At the direction of the Government, the Gateway Unit was established within the Department of Finance and Administration to manage the introduction and continued operation of Gateway.
The purpose of this Guidancepublicationis to provide an introduction and practical information on the process and requirements of Gateway and how it can help to improve the successful delivery of projects to:
This Guidance will assist these parties to successfully prepare for, and participate in, Gateway reviews. Information in this Guidance should be applied using common sense — as relevant to the circumstances of each project under review.
The Gateway Unit in the Department of Finance and Deregulation provides further information and assistance on Gateway, its application and outcomes through:
This information will be available at www.finance.gov.au/reviewing-government-activity/index.html
FMA agency Includes all Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 agencies
Assessment Meeting A meeting between the Gateway Unit and the Sponsoring Agency's Senior Responsible Official, to clarify the characteristics of the project, discuss the timing and logistics of the review and determine the skills requirements of potential reviewers.
Gate(s) A particular point(s) in a project's lifecycle when a Gateway Review is undertaken.
Gateway The United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce Gateway Review Process™, which is a project assurance methodology that involves short, intensive reviews at up to six critical stages in a project's lifecycle.
Gateway Assessment Tool (GAT) The risk assessment tool used to assess the inherent risk of projects in the context of a Gateway review. The GAT provides a standard set of high level criteria against which Senior Responsible Officials and Project Managers can assess the characteristics and degree of complexity of a proposed project.
Gateway Review Report The report issued by the Gateway Review Team at the conclusion of the Gateway review to the Sponsoring Agency's Senior Responsible Official.
Gateway Review Report Template The template issued by the Gateway Unit to the Gateway Review Team to assist in the preparation of the Gateway Review Report.
Gateway Reviewer A Gateway Reviewer is an individual with extensive relevant experience in a particular field and has been accredited by the Gateway Unit. Reviewers may be sourced from the public or private sectors, depending upon their suitability and availability for a project.
Gateway Review Team A team of expert reviewers engaged to undertake a Gateway review. Members of a Review Team should not have worked on the project under review, except in the capacity as a Gateway Reviewer at previous gates.
Gateway Reviewer Training Approved training programs that must be completed as part of the process of becoming an accredited Gateway Reviewer.
Handbook Gateway Review Process—A Handbook for Conducting Gateway Reviews (Financial Management Reference No.7). This publication contains practical information designed to assist with the successful preparation for, and participation in, Gateway reviews.
Information technology (IT) A general term encompassing the use of hardware, software and services to create, store, retrieve, transfer, process and present information. IT projects typically involve the introduction or enhancement of systems or technology to meet a particular business need.
Infrastructure Basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems and public institutions such as schools. Infrastructure projects typically involve the introduction or enhancement of facilities, services, and installations to meet a particular community need.
Lessons learnt Observations arising from Gateway reviews which highlight opportunities for improvements in project management practice. Lessons learnt are disseminated to FMA agencies by the Gateway Unit.
Mission Critical Project A project deemed essential to the Australian Government's ability to successfully deliver a major legislative requirement or a major policy initiative; or a project for which failure would have catastrophic implications for the delivery of a key public service, national security of the internal operation of an FMA agency.
Onsite Review Activity The Gateway Review conducted over four to five working days, at the Sponsoring Agency's premises. The Onsite Review Activity includes an examination of the requested documentation and interviews with key project participants.
Outcomes The results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Australian Government on the Australian community.
Planning Meeting A meeting of the Gateway Review Team, the Sponsoring Agency's Senior Responsible Official and the Project Manager to clarify the intent, logistics and timing of the Gateway review.
Private financing A form of government procurement involving the use of private sector capital to wholly or partly fund an asset—that would otherwise have been purchased directly by the government—used to deliver Australian Government outcomes. Private financing is generally an option to be considered only for major asset and infrastructure procurements.
Procurement The acquisition of property, goods or services through purchase, hire, lease, rental or exchange.
Programme A group of government-mandated activities that contribute to a common strategic or operational objective that can clearly be linked to an outcome statement as articulated in the Appropriation Acts.
Project A process undertaken by a Project Team, which is guided by a project management framework, to achieve a new one-off product or service within a finite period of time, in contrast to ongoing work.
Project Management Framework A set of integrated, cohesive and related tools, procedures and techniques that can be used to guide the execution of a project.
Project Manager The official within or engaged by the Sponsoring Agency, with overall responsibility for the delivery of a project. The Project Manager typically reports to the Senior Responsible Official.
Project Team The team of individuals engaged by the Sponsoring Agency to assist the Project Manager in the delivery of a project.
Property Every type of right, interest or thing that is legally able to be owned. This includes, but is not restricted to, physical goods and real property as well as intangibles such as intellectual property, contract options and goodwill.
Review Team Leader The member of the Gateway Review Team engaged for their expertise and experience, who has broader responsibility for managing the Gateway review and being the key point of contact with the Gateway Unit and the Sponsoring Agency's Senior Responsible Official.
Review Team Member/s Member/s of the Gateway Review Team engaged for their expertise and experience to contribute to the assessment of a project's progress against its stated objectives.
Senior Responsible Official The official within the Sponsoring Agency that has overall accountability for the realisation of the project outcomes and objectives for the project under review.
Sponsoring Agency The agency that is undertaking the project subject to the Gateway review.
Stakeholder An individual or entity who is either potentially affected by the project or who has a potential effect on the project.
Gateway applies to new projects undertaken by FMA agencies operating under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act), which satisfy certain financial and risk thresholds. The current financial thresholds are:
These thresholds will be reviewed at regular intervals and refer to the total value of a project, regardless of the timeframe taken to deliver the objectives.
Risk is assessed using the Gateway Assessment Tool (GAT). The GAT is explained in greater detail at Appendix A. It provides a standard set of high-level criteria and questions, which the agency answers in relation to a proposed project, to determine the level of project risk (high, medium or low). A subset of high risk projects have been defined by the Government as ‘Mission Critical', and as such, the Government has decided that additional governance requirements be applied to these projects, on the basis that:
Gateway is being phased in from the 2006–07 Budget, focusing initially on a representative cross-section of projects that satisfy the financial thresholds and are identified as high risk.
After the 2006–07 Budget, all projects over the financial thresholds must complete the GAT. Projects deemed to be high risk, after completion of the GAT and in consultation with the Gateway Unit, must undertake a Gate 1—Business Case Review prior to consideration by Government. Projects that are included in Gateway will proceed through subsequent Gates in the Gateway process during their lifecycles.
For the 2008–09 Budget and onward, those projects that satisfy the financial thresholds and are assessed as medium risk will also be subject to the same process as high risk projects.
Gateway is a project assurance methodology that involves short, intensive reviews at up to six critical stages of the project lifecycle. The reviews, undertaken by a team of experienced peer reviewers who are not associated with the project, are designed to:
There are six different reviews that occur at critical stages (or Gates or decision points) of a project's lifecycle. These are:
|Critical Stage or Gate||Type of Review|
|Gate 0||Business Need|
|Gate 1||Business Case|
|Gate 2||Procurement Strategy|
|Gate 3||Investment Decision|
|Gate 4||Readiness for Service|
|Gate 5||Benefits Realisation|
Appendix B provides a summary of the purpose of each Gateway review, and the key areas to be examined. These are also discussed in detail in Financial Management Reference No.7 Gateway Review Process—A Handbook for Conducting Gateway Reviews (Handbook), which is provided to reviewers during the Gateway Reviewer training. The Handbook can also be accessed from the Gateway Unit or via the Department of Finance and Deregulation's website, at www.finance.gov.au.
A Gate 0 Review may occur prior to the commencement of a programme or project, or during later stages of the project or programme, if required. For most projects though, the first review will be a Gate—1 Business case Review. Figure 1 outlines the relationship between a typical project's lifecycle and the reviews at each Gate.
Projects that are included in Gateway are subject to Gates 1 through 5.
The Gate 0—Business Need review is a broad strategic review that may be undertaken before the start-up stage of a programme or project, to inform decision-making, or may be undertaken during project implementation, to confirm the alignment with the intended outcomes. It is envisaged that Gate 0 Reviews will not be commonly used and will only be undertaken when an agency specifically requests a review, and obtains the Gateway Unit's concurrence, or where the review is commissioned by the Government. If Gate 0 Reviews are deemed appropriate for a project, they can be repeated during the life of particularly complex projects.
Following the completion of a Gateway review, subsequent Gateway reviews for projects will commence when the Sponsoring Agency informs the Gateway Unit of its intention to proceed to the next phase in the project lifecycle. Protocols around these notifications will be established between the Sponsoring Agency and the Gateway Unit at the Assessment Meeting.
Figure 1: Gateway and the Project Lifecycle
Gateway is not an audit, a detailed technical review or an inquiry. The reviews identify and focus on issues that are most important to the project, so that a Project Team's effort is directed to those aspects that will help make the project successful. The Gateway review findings and recommendations are provided directly to the Sponsoring Agency at the conclusion of the review. It is the responsibility of the Sponsoring Agency, not the Gateway Unit, to determine what action should be taken to address recommendations.
Gateway reports provided to Sponsoring Agencies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The Sponsoring Agency has responsibility for dealing with FOI requests for Gateway reports. Other information held by Sponsoring Agencies, or by the Gateway Unit, related to a Gateway review may also be subject to the FOI Act.
Gateway involves the participation of the:
A Gateway Review Team will usually consist of a Review Team Leader and up to three Review Team Members. All reviewers must be accredited through the Gateway Unit's accreditation process. The Gateway Unit consults with the Sponsoring Agency to determine the optimal composition of the Gateway Review Team for each Gateway review.
At each Gate, a Gateway review consists of four elements requiring the Sponsoring Agency's participation.
1. An Assessment Meetingbetween the Gateway Unit and the Senior Responsible Official of the project, to clarify the characteristics of the project, discuss the timing and logistics of the review and determine the skills requirements for potential reviewers. This meeting will generally take one hour.
2. A Planning Meeting between the assigned Gateway Review Team and the significant project personnel (including the Senior Responsible Official and the Project Manager) to clarify the project's characteristics and the requirements for the review. This meeting will generally take no more than half a day.
3. The Onsite Review Activity, which involves examination of critical documentation and interviews with key Project Team members and other project stakeholders on the Sponsoring Agency's premises. Interviews will be carefully planned and scheduled to minimise the disruption to interviewees. The Onsite Review Activity typically takes the Gateway Review Team four to five working days to complete. The Review Team Leader will brief the Senior Responsible Official on a daily basis regarding any findings to date. This briefing typically takes less than half an hour.
4. The Gateway Review Report is provided to the Senior Responsible Official on the last day of the Onsite Review Activity, following a briefing by the Gateway Review Team on the review's conclusions and recommendations. This briefing generally takes no more than an hour to complete. The report highlights where corrective action may be required at that particular point in time.
Figure 2 provides an overview of a typical Gateway review (with an indicative five- day timeline for the Onsite Review Activity), including the suggested timeframe, the participants at each stage and the key actions at each step in the process.
The process and resource requirements for each of the Gateway reviews are described in greater detail in Part 3 of this Guidance.
As previously noted, Gateway strengthens the oversight and governance of major projects and assists FMA agencies to deliver new projects in accordance with the stated objectives, on-time and on-budget. It achieves this by providing an arm's length assessment of a project at critical stages of the project's lifecycle.
The benefits of Gateway to FMA agencies can include:
The Gateway Unit will periodically publish a report that is a composite of lessons learnt from a variety of Gateway reviews. These reports will incorporate confidentiality principles, with lessons learnt not attributable to any particular project. The lessons learnt reports will be available on the Gateway website.
Figure 2: Overview of the Gateway Review Process Timeline
As each Gateway review is undertaken over a short period of time, it is critical that the following participants work co-operatively to complete a review successfully:
Participants in a Gateway review should engage fully in the process, demonstrating a willingness to share information openly and honestly. This will assist in building a collaborative working relationship among the participants, and result in the production of a fully informed and useful Gateway Review Report. The confidentiality of the process should also help encourage that working relationship.
The Review Team Leader needs to plan early for interviews, ensuring that the appropriate participants are involved, and that Review Team Members and interviewees are aware of the purpose and structure of the interviews. The Handbook provides sample interview questions and supporting documentation. However, these questions are not exhaustive, and the Gateway Review Team should use their expertise and experience to tailor questions to the particular requirements of a Gateway review. In all circumstances interviewees should be encouraged to fully explain aspects of their project.
The Senior Responsible Official is responsible for the successful delivery of the project and should have the authority to make decisions affecting the progress of the project. The Senior Responsible Official is not responsible for the day to day management or the project; that is the Project Manager's role.
The Senior Responsible Official:
The Project Manager has primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the entire project and assists the Gateway Review Team to obtain an understanding of:
The Project Manager, or a nominee, should ensure that:
The Project Team comprises the agency staff (and contractors) responsible for undertaking the project work. The Project Team should report to the Project Manager.
The Project Team's role is to:
Other project stakeholders include any individual or entity who is either potentially affected by the project or who has a potential effect on the project. For example, other FMA agencies, interest groups, or private sector bodies involved in, or affected by, the project. Other project stakeholders may be asked:
The Department of Finance and Deregulation's Gateway Unit provides guidance, support and additional information on the Gateway methodology to the Gateway Review Teams and FMA agencies as required. The Gateway Unit does not undertake the Gateway Reviews.
The Gateway Unit will oversee the management of Gateway reviews by:
In respect to facilitating Gateway reviews, the Gateway Unit:
The Gateway Unit does not receive copies of Gateway Review Reports as they are completed. Rather, the Gateway Unit receives a copy of the Gateway Review Report as follows:
Gateway Review Reports will also be used by the Gateway Unit as a key source of information for the preparation of the lessons learnt reports. Although the Gateway Unit does not receive a Gateway Review Report until the completion of the next Gateway review, access to Gateway Review Report recommendations is provided to the Gateway Unit to inform the preparation of the lessons learnt reports.
Distribution of a Gateway Review Report is at the discretion of the Senior Responsible Official. Aside from the copy provided to the Gateway Unit on completion of the next review, reports are not provided to anyone outside the Gateway Unit.
The level of a project's risk, as identified through the GAT, determines the selection process for the structure of a Gateway Review Team. The risk categories and the selection processes are:
The Gateway Unit does not play a role in Gateway reviews for low risk projects, as they are not Government mandated and are conducted at the discretion of the Sponsoring Agency, using agency resources.
When selecting Gateway reviewers, the Gateway Unit will consult with the Sponsoring Agency to ensure an optimal mix of Gateway reviewers is selected for the Gateway Review Team. Consideration will be given to factors such as:
The common practice is to have one reviewer with financial or economic expertise; one with project management expertise relevant to the Gate being reviewed; and one with expertise related to the business requirements of the project. Depending on the purpose of each Gateway review and the profile of the reviewer, there may not necessarily be continuity in a Gateway Review Team from one Gate to the next. Regardless of the Review Team composition, the Gateway Planning Meeting provides an opportunity for all Review Team Members to be aware of the outcomes of previous reviews and have access to all necessary information.
The background and skills of the Gateway reviewers are fundamental to their involvement on particular Gateway reviews. Appendix C provides details of the required Gateway reviewers' expertise and experience.
To be accredited as a Review Team Member, candidates must:
Ongoing accreditation as a Review Team Member requires satisfactory feedback from a Review Team Leader.
The accreditation process for Review Team Leaders involves all of the above requirements, as well as:
Ongoing accreditation as a Review Team Leader requires satisfactory feedback from a Senior Responsible Official and the Gateway Unit.
The Gateway Unit will periodically check that information on Gateway reviewers is current and that reviewers are trained in any changes to Gateway and its application in the Australian Government context.
Gateway reviewers are experts in their field, who have extensive relevant experience and have been accredited by the Gateway Unit. Reviewers may be sourced from the public or private sectors, depending upon their suitability and availability for a project. The Gateway Unit aims to maximise public sector participation in reviews to build the skills and experience of Project Managers and Project Teams within the public sector. However, the need for specific expert skills in some Gateway reviews is likely to require private sector participation.
It is important to note that Gateway reviewers sourced from the public sector are selected for their expertise, and not to represent their agency, on a particular Gateway review. Similarly, Gateway reviewers sourced from the private sector are selected for their expertise, not to represent their firm, and should not use the Gateway review process to actively solicit business for themselves or their firm.
The Review Team Leader's role is essential to the success of a Gateway review—they are primarily responsible for facilitating communication and relationships with the Senior Responsible Official, the Project Team and other participants. Another important part of the Review Team Leader's role is to ensure all Gateway review participants understand their responsibilities and the purpose of the Gateway review.
The Review Team Leader has five key responsibilities:
During interviews, the Review Team Leader may need to focus the Gateway Review Team's attention on issues that are important to the project's success to prevent it becoming unnecessarily focussed on technical aspects of the project.
The Review Team Leader also provides leadership to the Review Team Members, including coaching, support and feedback to develop their skills. At the completion of the review, the Review Team Leader must complete an evaluation on each Review Team Member. This is provided to the Gateway Unit to assist in assembling future Gateway Review Teams.
Review Team Members are selected for the relevance of their skills and experience. The primary role of Review Team Members is to assist the Review Team Leader in gathering and analysing the information made available during a Gateway review. Review Team Members' responsibilities include:
Successful Gateway reviews are underpinned by thorough planning and careful coordination. Throughout the review process, discussions are held with key participants from the Sponsoring Agency, the Gateway Unit and the Gateway Review Team. These discussions will clarify the intent, requirements and timelines of a review, and provide information to assist with project planning and co-ordination. The discussions help achieve a successful review outcome within the agreed timeframe.
Prior to the Gateway Review Team commencing its Onsite Review Activity, the Project Manager should organise accommodation, facilities and access to relevant information and documentation. At a minimum, the Gateway Review Team will need:
At each Gate, the Gateway Review Team will require access to a variety of critical project documentation. Lists of the documents typically requested at each Gate are provided in the Handbook for Conducting Gateway Reviews (Financial Management Reference Series No.7). It is preferable that documentation requested at the Assessment and Planning Meetings be provided to the Gateway Review Team at the Planning Meeting or by the time the Onsite Review Activity commences. Some documentation, for example highly classified material, will be made available only at the Sponsoring Agency's premises or via secure login.
At each Gate, access to key project participants and other stakeholders will need to be organised. As noted in Part 2 of this publication, participants in a Gateway review should engage fully in the process, demonstrating a willingness to share information openly and honestly.
Participants from the Sponsoring Agency should answer the questions of the Gateway Review Team accurately and completely. The Project Manager and Project Team members should communicate to the Gateway Review Team their role, responsibilities and reasons for their actions and decisions, as requested. If requested to provide documentation, they should do so in a timely manner, and be available to answer follow-up questions.
It is likely that each Project Team will use different terminology when naming their project documentation and describing actions planned or undertaken. The Gateway Review Teams and Project Teams should clarify at all times the meaning of the terminology used, to ensure an accurate and useful Gateway review outcome.
Fostering confidentiality in the Gateway review discussions and all Gateway Review Reports encourages candour of participants and helps ensure access to information. This helps achieve the best outcome for the project. As part of that confidentiality, it is critical that all project documentation is returned to the Sponsoring Agency at the conclusion of the review. The Gateway Review Team's notes, draft reports and copies of the final Gateway Review Report are destroyed on the last day of the review.
The only permanent record of the review should be the final Gateway Review Report, that was signed off by the Gateway Review Team and provided to the Senior Responsible Official on the last day of the review. This report will be held by the Sponsoring Agency.
It is, nevertheless, important that lines of management responsibility within FMA agencies not be undermined. To ensure an appropriate level of awareness of Gateway activity, Senior Responsible Officials are encouraged to ensure their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is informed of progress of the project, including the outcomes and recommendations arising from any Gateway reviews. Where a project receives a ‘red light' (‘lights' are discussed later in the section on the Gateway Review Report) it is better practice for the CEO and, where appropriate, the responsible Minister, to be informed.
The use of Gateway does not change the accountability of FMA agencies for their projects in any way. FMA agencies must take responsibility for determining and implementing any actions required to address recommendations that are critical to the success of the project.
While all projects should have a governance structure that suits the particular requirements of the project, there is a small subset of high-risk projects, which are classed as ‘Mission Critical', that call for more stringent governance arrangements. Mission Critical projects, as defined by the Government, are distinguished by the following characteristics:
The Government has determined that the necessary governance arrangements for Mission Critical projects are achieved through addressing the following requirements:
To assist participants in the efficient and effective conduct of Gateway reviews, the Gateway Unit has developed this Guidance and other relevant documentation.
In addition to this Guidance, A Handbook for Conducting Gateway Reviews (Financial Management Reference series no. 7) has been developed to assist Gateway participants and provide:
As each project is different, the Handbook is not an exhaustive reference. It fosters a consistent approach across reviews of different projects and should be used to complement the expertise of the Gateway Review Team.
In addition, the Gateway Unit will provide templates to Gateway Review Teams to assist them prepare Gateway Review Reports.
The Gateway Guidance and Handbook are available from the Gateway web pages. Other reference materials that may be of assistance to Gateway participants when undertaking projects and preparing for reviews are listed in Appendix D.
At each Gate, a Gateway review consists of the following four distinct steps requiring the Sponsoring Agency's participation.
An Assessment Meeting is held between the Gateway Unit and the Senior Responsible Official once a project has been identified for a Gateway review. The purpose of the meeting is to:
Following the Assessment Meeting, the Gateway Unit will:
At this point, primary responsibility for co-ordinating the Gateway review passes to the Review Team Leader and Senior Responsible Official, with the Gateway Unit providing ongoing support.
The Project Manager should compile the documents requested at the Assessment Meeting and make them available to the Gateway Review Team at the Planning Meeting, or by the time the Onsite Review Activity commences. As noted in Part 2, certain classified material may be made available only on the Sponsoring Agency's premises.
A Planning Meeting is held approximately two to three weeks after the Assessment Meeting. The Planning Meeting allows the Senior Responsible Official to brief the Gateway Review Team about the project,including the:
The Planning Meeting also provides the Gateway Review Team, Senior Responsible Official and Project Manager with an opportunity to discuss the review agenda and resource requirements, and agree on protocols for the review. The Gateway Review Team will make requests for project documentation and interviews with key participants. The Project Manager is responsible for organising the interviews prior to the commencement of the review.
This is conducted over four to five working days, at the Sponsoring Agency's premises. The Onsite Review Activity will include an examination of the requested documentation and interviews with key project participants. It is important for the Gateway Review Team to remember that the purpose of a Gateway Review is to provide the Senior Responsible Official with an assessment of the project's progress against its stated objectives and its readiness to progress to the next phase. The Gateway Review Report is not being produced for the Gateway Unit; it is being produced for the Sponsoring Agency.
Where possible, the Review Team Members should have reviewed the project documentation provided by the Sponsoring Agency prior to the first day of the Onsite Review Activity.
A planning session is held on the first morning to enable the Gateway Review Team to clarify arrangements for the week and confirm interviews with the Project Manager. The remainder of the first day will then generally be devoted to the review of project documentation, although some interviews may also be possible.
Interviews should commence by the second day and generally take up to one hour, unless otherwise requested by the Gateway Review Team. Interviews are best conducted in person, but teleconferences may be necessary.
Time should also be allocated each day for the Gateway Review Team to discuss key issues and to compile notes on their findings, which will form the basis of the Gateway Review Report (discussed in detail in the next section).
At the end of each day, the Review Team Leader will brief the Senior Responsible Official on the day's findings. This provides the Senior Responsible Official with an opportunity to address any misunderstandings, progress outstanding issues or provide additional information in a timely manner so as not to unnecessarily delay the completion of the Onsite Review Activity. It also means that the Gateway Review Report should contain no surprises for the Senior Responsible Official.
On the morning of the last day the Gateway Review Team should discuss the Gateway review findings and finalise the Gateway Review Report. The afternoon will be used to brief the Senior Responsible Official on the outcomes of the Gateway review and to hand over the final signed version of the Gateway Review Report. Also, the Review Team Leader is responsible for ensuring that the recommendations from the Gateway Review Report are provided to the Gateway Unit at the conclusion of the Onsite Review Activity.
A typical timeline for an Onsite Review Activity is shown in Figure 3. This may change depending on the characteristics of the project and the access to key project participants, but the Onsite Review Activity for a Gateway review should not exceed five working days.
Figure 3: Typical Timeline for the Onsite Review Activity
The Gateway Review Report should include:
The Gateway Review Report will provide an overall status for the project at the Gate being assessed, as well as an indication how critical its recommendations are. A ‘traffic light' system is used to indicate the project's overall status as follows:
|Red||It is critical to the overall success of the project that the issues raised in this review are addressed before the project proceeds.|
|Amber||The issues raised in this review should be addressed before the next Gateway review.|
|Green||The project is on target to succeed, but may benefit from implementing the recommendations in respect to the issues raised in this review.|
It is important to note that a red light does not mean that the project must stop. It indicates that further work is needed before progressing the project. The Sponsoring Agency is responsible for determining what action it will take in response to a Gateway Review Report.
The Gateway Review Report will also indicate if recommendations in earlier reviews have been addressed. The appendices to the Gateway Review Report provide information on interviewees and the project documentation reviewed.
The Gateway Review Team should draft the Gateway Review Report, which is generally eight to ten pages in length, using the templates provided by the Gateway Unit.
At the conclusion of the review, the Gateway Review Report is provided to the Senior Responsible Official. As the Gateway Review Report will need to be finalised by the last day of the Onsite Review Activity, drafting should commence as soon as practicable, with the draft report updated each day. Typically, the Gateway Review Team will spend the last day of the Onsite Review Activity finalising the report for presentation to the Senior Responsible Official. The final Gateway Review Report should be signed by all members of the Gateway Review Team.
The Gateway Assessment Tool (GAT) is the tool used to assess the risk of projects in the context of a Gateway review. The GAT is not an exhaustive risk analysis model and does not replace the need for FMA agencies to perform their own detailed risk analysis throughout a project's lifecycle. The GAT is available from the Gateway website at http://www.finance.gov.au/reviewing-government-activity/index.html/
The GAT provides a standard set of high level criteria against which Senior Responsible Officials and Project Managers can assess the characteristics and degree of complexity of a proposed project. The GAT takes into account such factors as the affect(s) on stakeholders, complexity of scope, the nature of any procurement processes (if any), the degree of change required in the delivering FMA agencies, and identified capability to deliver the project.
FMA agencies complete the GAT for projects in accordance with the Gateway financial thresholds and phasing in of Gateway, as discussed in Part 1 of this publication. The completed GAT is to be sent to the Gateway Unit via CABNET. The Gateway Unit will review completed GATs for whole of government consistency and may also seek clarification from the Senior Responsible Official or Project Manager in relation to answers or comments, where needed. On the basis of the answers provided, the GAT generates an indicative low, medium or high risk assessment. The ‘indicative' risk rating is then confirmed by the Gateway Unit after submission.
Provides assurance to the Sponsoring Agency responsible for the programme or project, via the Senior Responsible Official, that the scope and purpose has been adequately assessed, communicated to stakeholders and fits within the agency's overall business strategy and/or whole-of-government strategies and policies. It also aims to test whether stakeholders' expectations of the programme or project are realistic, by referencing them to outcomes, resource requirements, timetable and achievability.
Focuses on the robustness of a project's business case to provide assurance to the Sponsoring Agency, through the nominated Senior Responsible Official, that the proposed approach to meeting the business requirement has been adequately researched and can be delivered within the timeframe and with the resources provided.
Focuses on evaluating the procurement strategy to provide assurance that it establishes a clear definition of the project and a plan for its implementation, has made an assessment of the project's potential for success and if the project is ready to invite proposals or tenders.
Focuses on providing assurance to the Sponsoring Agency on the supplier selection, that the business needs are likely to be met through the project and contract management controls, and that the processes are in place for contract delivery.
Focuses on providing assurance to the Sponsoring Agency on whether the solution is robust before delivery, assessing organisational readiness before and after delivery, and considers the basis for evaluating ongoing performance.
Focuses on assessing whether the project delivers the identified benefits and value for money identified in the Business Case
As noted in this Guidance, Review Team Leaders and Review Team Members will be matched to projects and reviews based on their skills and experience, and the requirements of the Gateway review. A reviewer accreditation process is operated by the Gateway Unit, which aims to develop a flexible team allowing progression and development of Review Team Leaders and Review Team Members.
The Gateway reviewers must demonstrate a level of skills maturity in one or more of the following areas:
They could also be the following:
In addition, potential reviewers should be able to demonstrate excellent leadership, communication and negotiation skills. They should also have the ability to quickly develop new working relationships, and be capable of delivering concise and constructive outputs within tight timeframes.
The references contained in this appendix are provided for the information of Gateway participants. This listing is a guide, and is not an exhaustive collection of the available reference material.
There is a wide range of project management methodologies available that may suit a project or an agency's operating environment. FMA agencies may also have developed their own methodology to suit their specific needs. Two commonly used methodologies are:
Other relevant reference materials, all available at http://www.finance.gov.au
FMG 1 Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, January 2005
FMG 4 Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines for Information and Regulatory Agencies, March 2003
FMG 6 Guidelines for Issuing and Managing Indemnities, Guarantees, Warranties and Letters of Comfort, September 2003
FMG 10 Guidance on complying with Legislation and Government Policy in Procurement, January 2005
FMG 13 Guidance on the Mandatory Procurement Procedures, January 2005
FMG 16 Public Private Partnerships – Guideline: Commonwealth Policy Principles for the Use of Private Financing – Introductory Guide, May 2005
FMG 17 Public Private Partnerships – Guideline: Commonwealth Policy Principles for the Use of Private Financing – Business Case Development, May 2005
FMG 18 Public Private Partnerships – Guideline: Commonwealth Policy Principles for the Use of Private Financing – Risk Management, May 2005
FMG 19 Public Private Partnerships – Guideline: Commonwealth Policy Principles for the Use of Private Financing – Contract Management, May 2005
FMR 3 Financial Management and Accountability Legislation, October 2005
FMR 4 Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Legislation, October 2005
FMR 5 Introduction to Cost Benefit Analysis Guidelines, January 2006
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