Major Projects Authority

Major Projects Authority – improving project performance for the taxpayer

The MPA represents a sea change in the oversight of central government’s Major Projects at both an individual and a portfolio level and aims to address the findings from the NAO report ‘Assurance of High Risk Projects’ and from the Major Projects Review undertaken over the summer. It is a new collaboration between the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and Departments with the fundamental aim of significantly improving the delivery success rate of Major Projects across central government.

The MPA is supported by a clear and enforceable mandate and will have the authority to:

  • develop the Government Major Projects Portfolio, in collaboration with departments, with regular reporting to Ministers
  • require Integrated Assurance and Approval Plans for each Major Project or Programme, including timetables for Treasury approvals, and validated by the MPA and HMT
  • make a Starting Gate Review, or equivalent, mandatory for all new Projects/Programmes
  • escalate issues of concern to Ministers and Accounting Officers
  • provide additional assurance and direct involvement where Projects are causing concern including the provision of commercial and operational support
  • require publication of project information consistent with the Coalition’s Transparency agenda
  • work with departments to build capability in Projects and Programme management
  • publish an annual report on Government Major Projects.

There are four main components of the MPA’s work:

The Government Major Project Portfolio
This will consist of all projects or programmes that require HM Treasury approval.

Integrated Assurance and Approvals
The planning, coordination and provision of assurance activities throughout the “policy to delivery” lifecycle in a way which provides greater assurance with less effort.  Every project will be required to prepare an Integrated Assurance and Approval Plan which will indicate how assurance reviews of all types will be scheduled to support decision making and inform approvals by the Department and by the Treasury, while avoiding duplication and activity which does not add value.

Consequential Assurance and Intervention
For projects that have particular problems, a more intensive approach is required.  MPA will discuss with the Department the need for additional assurance and where necessary will arrange extra support for the project.  If issues are not being resolved effectively there will be an escalation process to ministers.

Transparent Reporting
Will include the publication of project contracts on line, and an annual report on progress of Government’s Major Projects which will be published by December 2011

Further information

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