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Introduction

The assessment of the business case is to provide assurance to the Transport Agency that a robust process underlies the case and the principles of the business case approach have been applied to the appropriate degree. 

 

Assessing the business case

The Transport Agency assesses the business cases for proposed investments at various investment decision points during their development, e.g. after the strategic case is completed, when support for the strategic case and funding for developing a programme or detailed business case is being sought.

At each investment decision point an assessment is undertaken before the investment proposal progresses to assessment and prioritisation under the the Transport Agency's Investment Assessment Framework (IAF).  

The assessment of the business case consists of a set of questions specific to the type of activity, i.e. whether it is an improvement activity, maintenance programme, public transport services programme or promotion of road safety and demand management programme or  activity. The questions are listed below by each type.

Assessment of road maintenance business cases

Each of the following questions is rated on a 0 to 3 scale (zero being unacceptable, 3 being robust/advanced). An overall rating of Pass, Rework or Fail is given. While the individual question ratings inform the overall rating, it is not a mechanical summing of the scores. Rather, it requires use of judgement to assess the how critical the questions and ratings are to the case being assessed and its context.

 

  • Assessment questions

    Assessment questions

    Strategic case (context)

    Strategic alignment

    What consideration has been given to progressing Government priorities, regional priorities, the One Network Road Classification (ONRC) outcomes and measures? How do the strategic drivers align to the Long Term View?

    Strategic direction

    What issues additional to the national (GPS) and regional priorities need to be addressed in managing the network?

    Problem identification (current state)

    For the issues identified above, does the business case documentation provide evidence to indicate the scale of the problem, or opportunity, and give some indication of the relative importance and urgency of the issues?

    Objectives (benefits (outcomes) / Key performance indicators) : identified & reasonable

    What benefits and performance measures, at a network level related to the maintenance programme, have been identified and are they reasonable?

    Programme case (context)

     Core programme

    For the programme as a whole and for each of the work category bids, is there sufficient evidence to show the programme has been optimised for both the mix and timing of interventions, and is there an appropriate procurement approach to deliver value for money in the short, medium and long term?

    Enhanced programme

    Where funding is sought above the Core Programme level, the investment partner will need to demonstrate the rationale and evidence of the value proposition for the enhanced funding request

    Alignment of programme expenditure

    How well are planning documents aligned to the core programme (and any associated funding applications) in TIO?

    Commercial case (procurement context)

    Smart buyer

    What, if any, emerging procurement-related issues and opportunities or outstanding issues have been identified?

    Management case (delivery and performance)

    Integration / Partnering

    How well is the delivery of the proposed programme and related activities aligned and integrated?

    Performance management

    What is the confidence that the programme can be delivered and risks managed?

    Confidence in delivery / Risk management

    What is the confidence that the programme can be delivered and risks managed?

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Assessment of public transport services business cases

Each of the following questions is rated on a 0 to 3 scale (zero being unacceptable, 3 being robust/advanced). An overall rating of Pass, Rework or Fail is given. While the individual question ratings inform the overall rating, it is not a mechanical summing of the scores. Rather, it requires use of judgement to assess the how critical the questions and ratings are to the case being assessed and its context.

 

  • Assessment questions

    Assessment questions

    Strategic case (context)

    Strategic alignment

    What consideration has been given to alignment with Regional and Government priorities and results for public transport?

    Strategic direction

    What trends and demand across the network have been identified and what is the role public transport will play shaping this in future?

    Problem identification (current state)

    What problems or opportunities are currently being addressed through the existing service level provision and supporting amenities?

    Problem identification (future state)

    What, if any, emerging issues have been identified in which public transport can be part of the solution?

    Objectives (benefits (outcomes) / Key performance indicators) : identified & reasonable

    What benefits and KPIs at a network level related to the continuous programme have been identified and are they reasonable?

    Programme case (context)

    Options

    What consideration has been given to options (e.g. through a network review or optimisation assessment)?

    Robust, fit for purpose forward programme

    What is the evidence that the proposed future programme will appropriately address the problems and opportunities identified and deliver the expected benefits?

    Alignment of programme expenditure

    How well are planning documents aligned to the core programme (and any associated funding applications) in Transport Investment Online (TIO)?

    Programme type identification

    How has the investment required for the core programme and any service level improvements been determined and entered into TIO?

    Continuous (core) programme (cost & value for money considerations)

    Specifically related to the core programme, what evidence is provided that the indicative costs for the proposed programme are both reasonable and affordable (i.e. deliver in terms of value for money)?

    Commercial case (procurement context)

    Smart, fit for purpose procurement of services

    What, if any, emerging procurement related issues and opportunities or outstanding issues have been identified?

    Management case (delivery and performance)

    Integration / Partnering

    How well is the delivery of the proposed programme and related activities aligned and integrated? How does the approved organisation give effect to on-going partnering with operators providing services?

    Evidence / Testing of evidence

    How robust is the organisation's approach to modelling / forecasting demand?

    Performance management

    How is performance against KPIs (both at the network and unit/contract level) being managed, and what evidence is available to demonstrate that benefits and KPIs previously identified have been achieved?

    Confidence in delivery / Risk management

    How confident are we in the ability of the approved organisation to deliver the programme and manage any risks?

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Assessment of business cases for improvement and promotion of demand management activities (and promotion of road safety activities over $1 million)

Each of the following questions is rated Pass, Rework or Fail. The individual question ratings inform the overall rating, but not in a mechanical summing of the scores. Rather, it requires use of judgement to assess the how critical the questions and ratings are to the case being assessed and its context.

 

  • Assessment questions

    Assessment questions

    Strategic case

    How clear are problems that need addressing (including the cause and effect for these problems)? Provide a brief explanation.

    What is the evidence available to confirm the cause and effect of the problems? Provide a brief explanation, including an assessment of whether the level of evidence is appropriate for the current stage of development.

    What are the factors that determine urgency or otherwise? How much uncertainty is there?

    Briefly explain whether the problems are specific to this investment or if it is (or should be) part of a broader perspective.

    Briefly explain whether the benefits have been adequately defined.

    Briefly explain the value of the benefits to the organisation(s) involved. Note that this should include any benefits that are relevant to the GPS results, the objectives of the organisation developing the business case, or a combination of both. Alignment with GPS results will be made separately using the results alignment IAF criteria.

    Briefly explain how the specified performance measures will provide reasonable evidence that the benefits have been delivered.

    Briefly explain whether the performance measures are measurable and can be attributed to the investment.

    Programme case

    Briefly explain the range of strategic alternatives and options that have been explored, including whether these include consideration of demand, supply and productivity responses.

    Briefly explain the strategic options and alternatives that are proposed and whether there is a clear rationale for the selection of the preferred programme.

    Briefly explain why the proposed alternatives and options are likely to be the most effective response to the problem.

    Briefly explain whether the proposed alternatives and options are feasible.

    Implementation case

    Briefly explain whether a reasonable range of project options have been analysed, including an assessment of whether these are consistent with the strategic alternatives and options considered.

    How clearly and fully specified is the proposed solution? Provide a brief explanation, taking all proposed business changes and assets into account.

    Briefly explain why the proposed solution is the best way to respond to the problem and deliver the expected benefits.

    Briefly explain whether the solution can be delivered as proposed.

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Assessment of individual questions

For improvement activities over $1 million each question is assessed as a Pass, Rework, or Fail.

 

Assessment of the investment proposal

After assessing each question, the Transport Agency will assess the overall investment proposal in its entirety. This assessment will check that the investment proposal is robust and demonstrates that the principles of the business case approach have been applied, relevant to the phase of the business case.

The outcome of the assessment of individual questions will inform and influence the overall pass, rework or fail of the investment proposal, but there is no specific number of passes required at the individual question level to determine the overall outcome of the assessment of the business case.

 

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