Gateway Review System - Overview
Gateway Reviews are reviews of projects (capital and recurrent investments) by independent experts at up to seven defined decision points (or gates) in a project or programs life-cycle.
The project's significant stakeholders are interviewed and key documents relevant to the stage of the project are examined. A gateway review is not an audit, a detailed technical review or an enquiry, but a review by experienced 'peers' to provide an independent view of the project and increase its chance of success.
The review assesses the robustness of the project proposal and contributes to improve its ultimate performance.
Gateway Coordination Agencies
There are three Gateway Coordination Agencies:
- Infrastructure NSW(INSW) - Responsible for Gateway Reviews of capital infrastructure projects
- Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) - Responsible for Gateway Reviews of ICT projects
- NSW Treasury - Responsible for Gateway Reviews of major recurrent projects
NSW Treasury is the Policy Owner and is responsible for the overall Gateway Policy. For capital or ICT projects to be delivered by INSW or the ICT and Digital Government Division of DFSI respectively, Treasury is the GCA. This is to maintain the separation and independence of the GCA role from the delivery role.
The project sponsor is the senior agency officer with responsibility for the funding and performance of the project. This person is usually a member of the agency executive, with responsibility for ensuring the project remains strategically aligned and viable and remains on track.
The Gateway Manager is the person appointed by the GCA to manage a particular review, and is responsible among other things, for selecting the review team leader and team and ensuring the right mix of skills and experience. There are usually three or four members in a review team.
A typical Gateway Review
A Gateway Review consists of a number of distinct steps:
- The delivery agency identifies and contacts the appropriate Gateway Coordination Agency
- The project is registered with the Gateway Coordination Agency
- A preliminary meeting between a Gateway Manager and the project sponsor is arranged to discuss the application of gateway to the project
- The Gateway Manager selects the reviewers and review team leader
- The agency prepares the appropriate project documentation for the review team
- The review commences with a planning day and concludes following the appropriate number of interview days
- Gateway reviews are conducted in-line with Gateway Policy and the relevant Gateway workbooks.
- The review team prepares a report and recommendations for review by the Gateway Coordination Agency
- The Gateway Coordination Agency provides the agency with an opportunity to respond to any recommendations, before finalising the report and providing it to the project sponsor. Final reports must be provided to Treasury to support any investment decisions or on request.
A typical review involves a planning day and then up to two days of interviews.
Agencies are required to provide project documentation a week prior to the planning day. The planning day is conducted as a three to four hour project briefing, and if necessary, a site tour.
The interview days are held approximately a week after the planning day. The agency nominates the individuals to be interviewed by the review team. The review team will also provide guidance to the agency on the selection of interviewees. The number of days needed for interviews is dependent on the number of interviewees to be interviewed.
Agencies can expect a review report within one to two weeks of the interview days.
Workbooks to support the implementation of reviews have been developed. These workbooks contain indicators to help reviewers assess the health of a project and a template for completing the review report. Project teams may also find the following workbooks a useful resource in preparing for their reviews:
- Initiation/justification gate
- Strategic gate
- Business case gate
- Pre tender gate
- Tender evaluation gate
- Pre commissioning gate
- Post implementation gate
- Gateway health check