Last edited 11 Jul 2016

Major projects authority MPA

Note: As of 1st January 2016 this unit was merged with Infrastructure UK to become the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.


[edit] Introduction

The Major Projects Authority was part of the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) and replaced the Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) Major Projects Directorate.

The Major Projects Authority was established by the government to '...bring about the successful delivery of major projects across central Government by working with departments to ensure the fitness and quality of major projects throughout their life' (ref HM Treasury, Major project approval and assurance guidance).

A project is defined as a 'major project' if it meets any of the following criteria:

  • It requires HM Treasury approval.
  • It could lead to a breach in departmental expenditure limits.
  • It involves significant levels of unplanned spending.
  • It could set an expensive precedent.

At the end of 2015 when it merged with Infrastructure UK to become the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, there were approximately 200 major projects running.

[edit] Major projects procedures

Procedures set out by the Major Projects Authority are mandatory for all major projects. They focus on a series of reviews and approvals at key stages in the development of a project.

An Integrated Assurance and Approval Plan (IAAP) is prepared for a major project, setting out the review and approval process that will be adopted.

Projects will generally be reviewed at the following stages:

The forum for approving major projects at agreed milestones may be either a:

  • Major Projects Review Group (MPRG).
  • Treasury Approval Point with panel meeting.
  • Treasury Approval Point without panel meeting.

The Major Projects Review Group consists of government and private sector experts, from which a panel of three or four individuals are selected to review projects that meets any of the following criteria:

  • The whole life costs are over £1bn.
  • They are high risk and complex.
  • They set a precedent.
  • They are highly innovative.
  • They are 'of concern'.

Panel meetings are informed by an 'assessment team report' and a 'project and department briefing paper' produced by an assessment team as a result of a project assessment review.

The panel chair will make a recommendation to either:

  • Approve the project.
  • Approve the project with conditions.
  • Halt the project's progress.

Generally, the Treasury Approval Point process reviews projects outside the departmental delegated authority but below the level required for Major Projects Review Group scrutiny (usually £1bn).

[edit] Find out more

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[edit] External references.