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Post implementation reviews

Updated: 22 October 2013

The NZ Transport Agency conducts post implementation reviews every year on a small sample of completed projects or packages that it has invested in.

The reviews are not drawn from a statistically significant sample of all completed projects, but they do allow the Transport Agency to compare the planned benefits and costs of a project with the actual outcomes achieved.

Post implementation review policy for evaluating outcomes of Transport Agency investments

The NZ Transport Agency Board approved the post implementation review policy for evaluating outcomes of agency investments in July 2013. The policy is designed to promote the transparency of the review findings, improve the evaluation of expected benefits and identification of lessons learned.

Post implementation review scope

The Transport Agency uses an appropriate monitoring and auditing framework across funded activities in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). Post implementation reviews are part of this framework.

Their scope is on reviewing improvement projects and packages from within the following NLTP activity classes:

  • new and improved state highway infrastructure
  • new and improved local road infrastructure
  • public transport infrastructure, and
  • walking and cycling.

Purpose of post implementation reviews

Post implementation reviews aim to:

  • assess and explain how well projects and packages have achieved their main expected transport benefits (such as improved safety, increased capacity to meet traffic volume growth, or improved journey time and reliability) to give an overall assessment of the value for money of completed projects or packages reviewed
  • explain any variation between actual results and expected benefits and costs, and
  • identify lessons learned that can be made to make business improvements.

Selection of activities for review

In order to ensure outcomes are clear, Approved Organisations are required to nominate performance measures and targets for all projects and packages with an approved cost of $10 million or more as a condition of funding. The Transport Agency may also require performance measures on some lower value activities (for example, where there is a strategic link or innovation identified).

A sample of completed projects is selected for post implementation reviews each year using a stratified sampling approach. The range of factors considered in selecting completed activities to review include:

  • the value of funding
  • activity type
  • regional spread
  • giving preference to reviewing a package of interrelated projects rather than the individual projects in isolation, and
  • selecting only projects or packages that have been substantially complete for at least two years. This is to give sufficient time after their completion for meaningful assessment of how well they have achieved their expected outcomes. Safety improvement projects may require at least five years before their effect on crash statistics can be properly assessed.

Promoting the learning of lessons from completed projects

The following processes are be used to promote lessons learned from post implementation reviews:

  • the relevant Approved Organisations (including the Transport Agency's Highways and Network Operations group) of reviewed projects are consulted to give them opportunity to formally comment on review findings. This includes stating how they plan to address any significant issues or improvement opportunities identified
  • capable Approved Organisations are encouraged to undertake post implementation reviews themselves, consistent with this policy
  • we follow up with Approved Organisations on review recommendations
  • post implementation review findings are used to help inform the Agency's risk assessment of Approved Organisations
  • review findings are reported quarterly, along with recommendations for any actions required to be implemented or monitored. Key findings or themes from the reviews are reported quarterly to the Transport Agency Board, but there is a provision to escalate significant review findings more frequently if required
  • review findings are published on the Transport Agency website after each quarterly Board meeting, and
  • the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects will be monitored and reviewed through an extended post implementation review process which will assess their wider social, economic, and environmental impacts.

PIRs by year

2011/12

2010/11

2009/10

2008/09