Gateway: A tool to help projects succeed

Department of Finance

Could your project benefit from a ‘fresh pair of eyes’—use Gateway for major projects.

Gateway is an independent assurance process, delivered by the Western Australian Department of Finance. It involves short and intensive reviews at critical decision points in the life cycle of a major project. If the total value of project is greater than $100m (infrastructure) or $10m (ICT), then use of Gateway is recommended.

A Gateway review is not an audit, but is a tool to help projects succeed—providing independent advice to improve project delivery. The recommendations contained in the report of the Gateway review assists the ‘project owner’ to undertake early intervention on issues that affect cost and time delays or to improve the management of risks, governance and stakeholder buy-in.

The Gateway report is the key deliverable from each review, containing findings, recommendations and ratings, whereby a rating is an indication of the urgency and criticality of remedial action required for the project to achieve success. Red, Amber and Green ratings are used in the review report to assess each of the recommendations, providing a ‘RAG status’— RED status requires immediate action, AMBER status requires action before the next Gateway review and GREEN status indicates that the project is on target, but may benefit from the uptake of recommendations.

Gateway has been very successful across a number of Western Australian infrastructure and ICT projects since its launch in 2008, and has received high praise from executive ‘project owners’ within the public sector.

The Gateways Senior Program Leader, Ms Roz Filmer, said ‘public sector agencies have provided feedback indicating Gateway reviews add significant value by providing constructive direction for improvement … the review team brings a fresh perspective—identifying risks and issues facing a project and providing an opportunity to share knowledge and best practice methodologies across jurisdictions’.

The cost of a Gateway review is generally less than 0.04% of the cost of the project—that’s great value for money. To date, Gateway has conducted 157 reviews of 96 projects with an estimated total value of $26 billion, across a broad range of agencies.

The Department of Finance Gateway Unit is responsible for organising Gateway reviews, including sourcing both local and interstate reviewers on behalf of the sponsor agency, and holding annual Gateway review team member training sessions.

If you consider that your project could benefit from a Gateway review, complete the Project Assessment Tool. If you would like to become a reviewer, contact the Department of Finance via email at gateway@finance.wa.gov.au.