Infrastructure and Project Authority carries out Gateway Review
Having worked closely with the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) at various stages throughout the Digital Railway Programme (DRP), we have recently been through our first Gateway Review to confirm that our Strategic Outline Business Case products developed with DfT are robust, affordable, achievable and likely to deliver value for money to the UK taxpayer.
Following this comprehensive review, which included interviews with both the DRP team and key industry stakeholders (Network Rail, route organisations and train operating companies), we were pleased to be awarded an Amber status overall from the IPA’s ‘traffic light’ system.
The Amber status recognises that significant progress is being made across the programme and a strong Strategic Business Case had been prepared, while at the same time highlighting some key areas for improvement, many of which are already firmly embedded in the programme and are the focus of ongoing work from the DRP team.
Areas that were highlighted included a requirement for us capture, assess and analyse the impact of ongoing programmes (such as Romford and Cardiff Rail Operating Centres, Thameslink, Crossrail) as well as future schemes from the first Outline Business Cases and beyond.
Recognising the importance of the DRP to the modernisation of the railway, and the fact that it is a complex, long-term transformation programme on a major scale, we were also asked to work with the IPA to identify the appropriate time for the DRP to enter the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).
As the government’s centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects, the IPA is part of the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury and supports the successful delivery of major projects ranging from railways, schools and hospitals, to IT and defence. Working closely with government and across industry, the authority’s role is to ensure infrastructure and major projects are delivered efficiently and effectively, and to improve performance over time.
Commenting on the review, the DRP’s Head of Strategy, James Drury, said: “We have built a solid relationship with the IPA and greatly value and appreciate their advice and continued support, as well as that of our industry partners and colleagues who have been with us every step of the way. Given the scope and impact of the DRP, we look forward to continuing to work closely with all our stakeholders as the programme gathers pace and scale, sharing experiences and best practice with other major capital projects around the UK.”