Project Assurance

Presenting the NSW Government with oversight of NSW’s infrastructure program

Projects must be delivered on time and within budget and meet community expectations for quality and functionality. As they are taking place in established communities, it’s also important to minimise their impact on everyday life and involve local people in the decisions that shape their lives.

Infrastructure NSW works behind the scenes to support these goals. Since 2015, one of our major tools has been the Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework (IIAF).

The IIAF applies to capital projects with a value of $10 million and above, being developed, procured or delivered by General Government agencies and Government Businesses.

The Assurance Framework consists of:

  • project monitoring
  • regular project reporting
  • expert and independent Gateway Reviews and Health Checks
  • Insights sharing and capability building for public sector professionals engaged in the delivery of infrastructure projects

This tiered, risk-based approach to the assurance evaluation ensures that the focus is on the most important and complex projects. The process is confidential to each project, and advice is provided to the NSW Government, as the investor, through regular reporting.

This approach enables “red flags” to be raised and an opportunity for interventions to be ordered to ensure projects are delivered on-time, on-budget, and in accordance with the NSW Government’s objectives.

The IIAF is the applicable Gateway Coordination Framework under the NSW Gateway Policy. The NSW Gateway Policy is administered by NSW Treasury.

Questions or comments?

For more information on project assurance managed by Infrastructure NSW, please contact assurance@infrastructure.nsw.gov.au.

The IIAF at a glance

Tiered approach to the IIAF

Through the investor assurance process, Infrastructure NSW provides independent advice to delivery agencies and direct reporting to the NSW Cabinet and the Minister for Infrastructure. This independent advice and reporting seeks to proactively contribute to the delivery of the Government’s key infrastructure projects to time, budget and in accordance with government objectives.

The key components of the independent investor assurance process include:

  • Monitoring conducted by Infrastructure NSW
  • Reporting regularly on projects based on inputs provided by delivery agencies
  • Gateway, Health Check and Deep Dive Reviews conducted by independent practitioners
  • Sharing insights and building capability in the delivery of infrastructure projects, for example the Business Case Toolkit and the Trends and Analysis Report.  

Project Monitoring

Infrastructure NSW continuously monitors project status and findings of Gateway Reviews and Health. This includes:

  • Close-out Plans to address recommendations emerging from a Review
  • undertaking necessary steps to verify information provided by delivery agencies or prepared by Review Teams
  • seeking direct input from Expert Reviewers
  • undertaking independent analysis and developing advice on key risks, recommended corrective actions and mitigation strategies

Regular Project Reporting

Infrastructure NSW prepares regular project reports which provide an assessment of project development and delivery against:

  • time
  • cost
  • quality
  • risks and impediments to project development/delivery.

In line with the risk based assurance approach, a project’s Tier informs the reporting intervals and level of detail required.

To support regular project reporting, delivery agencies provide Infrastructure NSW with timely and comprehensive project information. Reports are lodged by the relevant delivery agency after Secretary or delegated executive officer approval is given.

Regular project reporting is required monthly for Tier 1 – High Profile / High Risk projects, and quarterly for Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects.

Gateway, Health Check and Deep Dive Reviews

The IIAF Gateway Review process provides for a series of short, focused, independent expert reviews, held at key decision points in a project’s lifecycle.

The Gateway Reviews are appraisals of infrastructure projects, that highlight risks and issues, which if not addressed may threaten successful delivery.

Gateway Reviews are supported by periodic Health Check Reviews which assist in identifying issues that may emerge between decision points. Health Check Reviews are carried out by an independent team of experienced practitioners (industry experts including from the private sector), appointed by Infrastructure NSW.

Deep Dive Reviews are like Health Check Reviews but focus on a specific issue or limited terms of reference rather than the full range of issues normally considered at a Health Check Review.

The role of the Review Team

Gateway Reviews are conducted by independent, experienced practitioners, appointed by Infrastructure NSW to form a Review Team. Practitioners appointed to a Review Team are selected according to each project / program’s needs, and to provide a mix of skills, knowledge and experience.

The independence of the Review Team from the project together with the independent features of Infrastructure NSW is the key to delivering objective, high quality reviews and review Reports.

During a Gateway Review, the Review Team interview key stakeholders and review relevant documents. This enables the independent review team to identify project risks and provide recommendations on how these should be addressed, as well as identify opportunities to complement delivery of a project or program.

Insights sharing and capability development

To remain effective at shaping how the State’s public sector delivers major public infrastructure, the IIAF must keep evolving.

Continuous improvement is critical, and lessons learned play an important role.

Each year, Infrastructure NSW analyses all data collected during the IIAF process and provides the NSW Government with a report on key findings.

We use these insights to work with government to address key challenges and foster continuous improvements. Find out more through our Businesss Case Toolkit and Trends and Analysis Report.

Project Lifecycle - Assurance

Gateway, Health Check and Deep Dive Reviews are conducted in accordance with the Infrastructure NSW Review Workbooks (included in the ‘Resources’ tab of this webpage).

The Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework (IIAF) provides further detail on the processes.

Infrastructure NSW develops a Terms of Reference for each Review in consultation with the responsible delivery agency and key stakeholders.

Good governance and project/program assurance calls for a single individual, the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO), as the point of accountability and strategic responsibility. To enable a successful Review to take place, the delivery agency must identify each of the parties performing the role of ‘sponsor’, ‘deliverer’ and ‘asset owner/manager or operator’, as well as the individual acting as the SRO.

It is essential that the delivery agency’s SRO participates in the Gateway Review process.

Reviews are conducted by highly experienced independent Review Teams, who are independent of the agency and project team. The Review Team is selected for its mix of skills, capability and experience to enable it to provide relevant assessment and advice.

Review Teams are typically comprised of a Review Team Leader (RTL) and at least one Review Team Member (RTM).

Become a Reviewer

To express your interest in becoming a Reviewer, please contact assurance@infrastructure.nsw.gov.au to discuss next steps and specific requirements.

What the Reviewer Needs to Know  Info Sheet

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