Keeping major projects on track is critical to obtain maximum value for money for the government’s investment, and to deliver the services Queenslanders need. Queensland’s Project Assessment Framework (PAF) is used across government to ensure a common, rigorous approach to assessing projects at critical stages in their lifecycle, from the initial assessment of the service required, through to delivery. The PAF’s application is not limited to infrastructure projects or public private partnership (PPP) projects. At each stage of a project, the project’s progress and quality is assessed to ensure that the project (and associated investment) meets strategic objectives and achieves value for money. Once a project ‘clears’ a particular stage, it can progress to the next. The Project Assessment Framework replaces the previous Project Assurance Framework and Value for Money Framework. The Treasury Commercial Group manages the PAF and works with agencies to ensure consistent application.
The PAF provides tools and techniques to assess projects throughout the project lifecycle. The PAF consists of the following documents:
The PAF is supported by the following supplementary guidance material:
Related policy documents include:
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Agencies will also be bound by other applicable legislation, standards, frameworks, policies and guidelines. The PAF does not aim to stipulate the requirements for each individual agency, and this must be determined on a case by case basis by each agency. The following section contains a summary of select legislation, standards and frameworks only.
Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 and Financial Accountability Act 2009
Section 23(4) of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 (FPMS) supports the Financial Accountability Act 2009 (FAA). The FPMS states that departments and statutory bodies must have regard to the Project Assurance Framework and the Value for Money Framework in preparing evaluations concerning the acquisition, maintenance or improvement of significant assets. The Project Assessment Framework has replaced both the Project Assurance Framework and the Value for Money Framework, and as a result agencies should have regard to the Project Assessment Framework when considering their requirements under section 23(4) of the FPMS.
‘Have regard to’ is defined in the Overview of Queensland’s Financial Accountability Framework and means that an agency must consider the contents of the document (i.e. the PAF) and comply when its contents are applicable in the agency’s circumstances.
Public Private Partnerships
Queensland Treasury’s Commercial Group is responsible for the Queensland Government’s procurement of privately financed major infrastructure projects. Infrastructure Australia, a business unit of the Australian Government, provides comprehensive guidance on the national framework, including guidelines for practitioners, methodologies, specific jurisdictional requirements and commercial principles.
This material provides a clear framework for Queensland and the Australian Government to achieve maximum results from private sector involvement in major infrastructure delivery.
The government’s position is that private sector involvement in public infrastructure or service delivery should be encouraged where it can be shown that the state will achieve better value for money through involving the private sector, compared with delivering the project or service entirely at the public sector’s cost and risk.
This has included supplementing the National PPP Guidelines with the Queensland Public Private Partnership supporting guidelines to suit the Queensland context.
Gateway reviews (assurance)
Depending on the capital costs or risk associated with a project, a project’s progress and quality may assessed via a series of gateway reviews by independent reviewers. These reviews help ensure that the project (and associated investment) meets strategic objectives and achieves value for money.
Once a project ‘clears’ a particular stage, it can progress to the next. Comprehensive guidance material and tools about the gateway process and its application are available to agencies at each stage of the process.