Last edited 12 Jul 2016

OGC gateway review 2

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has now been absorbed into the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office.

When it existed, the OGC produced a great deal of guidance about best practice in procurement and project management. This OGC guidance has now been archived, however, it is still cited in the new Government Construction Strategy and the revised Common Minimum Standards (to become the 'Construction Standards') and links are still provided from government websites such as the Major Projects Authority. The OGC gateway review process still provides one of the best and most comprehensive sets of guidance for public projects. It is for this reason that the project plan for public projects within Designing Buildings Wiki follows the OGC gateway review process. See Public project: outline work plan.

The procurement routes preferred by the Government Construction Strategy and described by the OGC gateway review process are private finance initiative (PFI), prime contracting and design and build (see OGC Achieving Excellence Guide 6:Procurement and contract strategies). The Government Construction Strategy states that traditional procurement routes that separate design from construction should not be used unless it can be demonstrated that they offer better value for money.

The three preferred routes involve appointing a single integrated supply team (including designers, contractors, suppliers and perhaps facilities managers) after the project brief has been prepared, before design commences. This means that the main decision to invest (i.e. to appoint the integrated supply team), takes place before any designs have been prepared.

The OGC Gateway Review process offers a structure for projects following these procurement routes, based around a series of independent peer reviews carried out at key stages to verify that projects should be allowed to progress to the next stage.

These peer reviews, or 'gateway reviews' are commissioned on a confidential basis by the Senior Responsible Owner:

There are also two additional decision points specific to building projects:

In practice, some of the design work leading up to these decision points is likely to be carried out during the tender process (or bidding process on PFI projects).

OGC gateway review 2: delivery strategy (also called 'procurement strategy' (ref OGC Constructoin pocketbook)...

...investigates the Outline Business Case and the delivery strategy before any formal approaches are made to prospective suppliers or delivery partners. The Review may be repeated in long or complex procurement situations.

ref OGC introduction to procurement gateway 2.

The review should:

  • Confirm the business case is fully defined.
  • Confirm that the objectives and desired outputs of the project are still aligned with the programme to which it contributes
  • Ensure that the delivery strategy is robust and appropriate
  • Ensure that the project's plan through to completion is appropriately detailed and realistic, including any contract management strategy
  • Ensure that the project controls and organisation are defined, financial controls are in place and the resources are available
  • Confirm funding availability for the whole project
  • Confirm that the development and delivery approach and mechanisms are still appropriate and manageable
  • If appropriate, check that the supplier market capability and track record are fully understood (or existing supplier's capability and performance), and that there will be an adequate competitive response from the market to the requirement
  • Confirm that the project will facilitate good client/supplier relationships in accordance with government initiatives such as Achieving Excellence in Construction
  • For a procurement project, confirm that there is an appropriate procurement plan in place that will ensure compliance with legal requirements and all applicable EU rules, while meeting the project's objectives and keeping procurement timescales to a minimum
  • Confirm that appropriate project performance measures and tools are being used
  • Confirm that there are plans for risk management, issue management (business and technical) and that these plans will be shared with suppliers and/or delivery partners
  • Confirm that quality procedures have been applied consistently since the previous review
  • For IT-enabled projects, confirm compliance with IT and information security requirements, and IT standards
  • For construction projects, confirm compliance with health and safety and sustainability requirements
  • Confirm that internal organisational resources and capabilities will be available as required for future phases of the project
  • Confirm that the stakeholders support the project and are committed to its success
  • Evaluation of actions taken to implement recommendations made in any earlier assessment of deliverability.

ref OGC gateway review 2: delivery strategy.

On construction projects, specific tasks that are included in OGC gateway 2: delivery strategy are:

ref OGC Achieving Excellence Guide 3 - Project Procurement Lifecycle P11, 12 and 13.

For a detailed description of the sequence of tasks necessary on public projects, see the work plan Public project: outline work plan. Gateway review 2 takes place at the end of the work stage: Public project: feasibility studies.

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