Consideration of Auditor General Report 14: 2019-20—Evaluating major infrastructure projects (LAPSED) — 56th Parliament


Role of the Auditor-General

The role of the Auditor-General is to provide Parliament with independent assurance of public sector accountability and performance. This is achieved through reporting to Parliament on the results of its financial and performance audits.

About the Auditor-General Report


Auditor-General Report 14: 2019-20—Evaluating major infrastructure projects

The report summarises the results of the Queensland Audit Office’s (QAO) audit of whether Building Queensland (BQ) effectively and efficiently led and/or assisted agencies to deliver robust business cases for major infrastructure projects and provided agencies with expert advice about infrastructure. The QAO selected five business cases for review: the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre Expansion, the Brisbane Live Entertainment Arena Roma Street project, the Bruce Highway—Caboolture-Bribie Island Road Interchange to Steve Irwin Way Interchange, the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A, and the Inner City South State Secondary College.

The QAO found that, using its better practice frameworks, BQ had provided the government with more robust analysis to support investment decisions. The five business cases reviewed by the QAO generally aligned with the frameworks. However, the QAO noted some areas for improvement, such as options analysis, economic assessments, and financial assessments. The QAO found the five business cases varied in the adequacy of their analysis and did not always align with the scale, complexities, and risks associated with each project. The QAO also highlighted that the timing of infrastructure investment announcements affects the value of developing business cases, and noted that, currently, there are no guidelines to deal with scenarios when government has already announced its preferred option.

The report contains four recommendations for BQ and two joint recommendations for BQ and the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP).

For BQ specifically, the QAO recommended the entity:

  • improves the design and application of its frameworks for developing business cases and providing assurance activities on business cases, by considering a series of actions or areas for review or process refinements
  • publishes information in its infrastructure pipeline reports on how it uses its assessment criteria to identify infrastructure proposals that it considers to be a priority for the State
  • develops and implements a strategy to improve its internal infrastructure knowledge and capability, so it can more effectively undertake its functions as required under the Building Queensland Act 2015, and
  • performs a cost-efficiency analysis of its business case development activities to enable efficiency improvements.

While expressing varying levels of agreement with some elements of the QAO’s findings, BQ acknowledged and generally supported the QAO recommendations, outlining some of the progress it has achieved in these areas to date, and setting out implementation timeframes for other aspects ranging from December and March 2020, or on an ongoing basis.

For the two join recommendations, the QAO called on BQ and DSDMIP to work together to:

  • assess the merits of developing both BQ’s infrastructure pipeline and DSDMIP’s State Infrastructure Plan, and
  • review and clarify BQ’s role and obligations in fulfilling what is required under the Building Queensland Act 2015, to enable it to more effectively manage its functions.
  • BQ and DSDMIP agreed to both recommendations and will consult together on the timeline for implementation.

Referral to Committee 

Standing Order 194B provides that the Committee of the Legislative Assembly shall as soon as practicable after a report of the Auditor-General is tabled in the Assembly refer that report to the relevant portfolio committee(s) for consideration. 

The committee is responsible under section 94 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 for assessing the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government financial management by examining government financial documents and considering reports of the Auditor-General.

The Committee of the Legislative Assembly referred this Auditor-General’s report to the committee on 21 May 2020 for consideration.

Public Briefing

Public briefing - Friday, 17 July 2020 - program - broadcast - transcript

Referral Lapsed

The 56th Parliament has been dissolved by proclamation dated 6th October 2020.  Following the dissolution of the Parliament, Auditor-General reports referred to portfolio committees must be re-referred to a portfolio committee in the new Parliament by the Committee of the Legislative Assembly.

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