Gateway Review System - Overview
Gateway Reviews are reviews of projects (capital investments and recurrent expenditure) 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.
Following are the types of Gates in the Gateway review process:
- Gate 0: Project justification – Provides confidence that the proposal is aligned with the Government and Agency's strategic plans and the service identified warrants further consideration
- Gate 1: Strategic assessment – Assesses the robustness of the refined and scoped service need and whether the best value means of serving that need is proposed after consideration of a broad range of alternatives
- Gate 2: Business case – Assesses the robustness of the business case prior to approval
- Gate 3: Pre-tender / pre-execution – Assesses delivery readiness and includes pre-tender review (where relevant). Confirms a suitable procurement strategy has been selected and the project is ready to progress to the next stage
- Gate 4: Tender evaluation (only if the project involves tender based procurement) – Confirms the recommended decision appears appropriate before a contract is entered into and provides agency management with confidence that the process used to select the proposed service provider is robust.
- Gate 5: Pre-commissioning / pre-operations – Assesses the state of readiness to commission the project, commence operations and to implement the change management required.
- Gate 6: Post implementation – Confirms realisation or plan for realisation of benefits against those agreed at business case; ensures lessons learned have been sufficiently considered and documented.
Gateway Coordination Agencies
There are three Gateway Coordination Agencies:
- Infrastructure NSW(INSW) - Responsible for Gateway Reviews of capital infrastructure projects
- The Department of Customer Service (DCS) - 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 DCS 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 via the Whole of Government Assurance Portal, hosted by Infrastructure NSW. For information on the Portal please contact the Portal team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 by each Gateway Coordination Agency. These workbooks contain indicators to help reviewers assess the health of a project and a template for completing the review report. Contact the relevant Gateway Coordination Agency to access the workbooks customised to your investment or expenditure type (Capital/ICT/Recurrent) and gate.