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This section provides information, processes and procedures used to test the robustness of Approved Organisations’ and the Transport Agency’s evaluations and reduce the risk to the delivery of desired outcomes from the Transport Agency’s investment decisions.

Optimisation of activities

Optimisation involves:

  • applying the principles of the Business Case Approach to identify and articulate the problem, to consider an appropriate range of options to address the problem and to select a preferred option that provides best value for money in addressing the problem
  • applying a hierarchy of interventions, starting with low-cost alternatives and options (e.g. integrated planning, demand management, making best use of existing services and infrastructure, maintaining appropriate levels of service, small infrastructure improvements) through to high-cost alternatives and options (e.g. large infrastructure investments)
  • appropriate analysis, including incremental assessment where appropriate, of viable alternatives and options to maximise the contribution, for the funds used, to achieve the GPS results sought
  • balancing the various (positive and adverse) impacts to get the highest net impact for the funds used.

The Transport Agency expects that the optimisation process will consider a range of alternatives and options for a stated objective, rather than a single predefined solution, and will provide evidence demonstrating how and why the optimised solution has been selected.

Peer review of improvement business cases

Requirement for external peer reviews

The Transport Agency requires an independent, external peer review of improvement activity business cases with an implementation cost of over $5 million.


Purpose of peer reviews

The purpose of the peer review is to reduce the risks that projects either do not deliver on the outcomes forecast in the funding application, or they fail to deliver the outcomes at the level of efficiency and effectiveness stated in the application.


Further guidance on peer reviews

Further guidance is provided in the section on peer review of improvement projects.


Response to peer review findings

The Transport Agency(planning & investment) requires project owners to consider the findings of any peer review and to provide a formal response in the review. Any outstanding issues must be noted in the review.

Peer review of research projects

Requirement for external peer reviews of research projects

The Transport Agency requires that all projects in the research programme undergo external peer reviews.


Further guidance on peer reviews of research projects

Further guidance is provided in the section on peer review of research projects.