Last edited 17 Dec 2015

OGC gateway review 5

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 This OGC guidance has now been archived, however, it is still cited in the new Government Construction Strategy and the revised Common Minimum Standards (to become the 'Construction Standards') and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 state that the purpose of gateway review 5: operations review & benefits realisation (or benefits evaluation) is to:

  • Assess whether the Business Case justification for the project at OGC Gateway Review 3: Investment decision was realistic.
  • Confirm that there is still a business need for the investment.
  • Assess whether the benefits anticipated at this stage are actually being delivered.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the ongoing contract management processes.
  • Confirm that the client side continues to have the necessary resources to manage the contract successfully.
  • Confirm continuity of key personnel involved in contract management/‘intelligent customer’ roles.
  • Where changes have been agreed, check that they do not compromise the original delivery strategy.
  • Assess the ongoing requirement for the contract to meet business need. Ensure that if circumstances have changed, the service delivery and contract are adapting to the new situation. Changing
  • circumstances could affect: partner management; relationship management; service management; change management; contract management; benefits management; performance management.
  • Check that there is ongoing contract development to improve value for money.
  • Confirm that there are plans to manage the contract to its conclusion.
  • Where applicable, confirm the validity of exit strategy and arrangements for re-competition.
  • Evaluation of actions taken to implement recommendations made in any earlier assessment of deliverability.

ref OGC gateway review 5: operations review & benefits realisation.

According to OGC, tasks that should be undertaken prior to gateway 5: 'benefits evaluation' should include:

  • Confirm acceptance of project to meet need; confirm spend to date against approved budget.
  • Carry out post project review to establish how well the project was managed. Complete Clients' Charter KPIs (key performance indicators)
  • Use facility. Ongoing contract management (where appropriate), including performance measurement.
  • Confirm business benefits and budget. Carry out post implementation review (also known as post occupancy evaluation) – compare with original project objectives. Set out lessons learned. Seek supply team comments to improve future projects. Note that there may be several PIRs (Post Implementation Reviews). Assess suitability of project in satisfying business needs. Assess effectiveness of whole-life design. Provide feedback for future projects or improvement in ongoing contract management.
  • Ongoing contract management where appropriate; management of separate FM (facilities management) contract where relevant.
  • Address issues raised by Gateway review; act on feedback and recommendations.

ref Achieving Excellence Guide 3 - Project Procurement Lifecycle P16 and 17

OGC gateway 5: benefits evaluation should be repeated through the life of the facility as required.


For a detailed description of the sequence of tasks necessary on public projects, see the free work plan available from Designing Buildings Wiki: Public project: outline work plan. Gateway review 5 takes place at the end of the work stage: Public project: post occupancy evaluation.

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