Headlines: February 21st, 2001

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has come up with a new formula for making procurement more efficient.Its ‘Gateway’ process renders major, novel or complex public projects liable to pass through a series of ‘gates’ at key stages. The ‘gates’ must be passed before the project proceeds further.

Major projects like construction, IT and PFI, all with a track record of projects overspending and coming in late, will come under the new tests.

The OGC, an Office of HM Treasury, has estimated that following its formula could save five hundred million pounds a year in about three to four years time.

This management system for projects is based along commercial lines. The five gates are: justify business case; approve procurement method; approve award of contract; test whether project is ready to go live; identify if project has delivered planned benefits.

The review, at key points of the project, will be conducted by an independent team of experienced experts sponsored by the OGC.

Gateway reviews have been piloted since May of last year, and pilot projects are at various stages of the five gates system. Reviews are short and intensive aimed at identifying the key issues for success. Each gate review will take approximate 4-5 days and fit within existing project timescales.