A state government agency engaged us to undertake an independent review of its existing arrangements for governing, managing and assuring the delivery of its major policy and service delivery reform programs. The agency was delivering and managing an unprecedented number of complex reforms and wanted to identify how it could improve the effectiveness of its existing corporate governance bodies, processes, reporting and controls to ensure the delivery of the government’s reform priorities and objectives.

To assist them we undertook a review of two current case study reform programs, as well as reviewing the agency’s existing corporate policies, processes and systems for portfolio, program and project management, governance and assurance. One case study program involved the design and implementation of measures to reduce reoffending, while the other involved a range of discrete sub-programs to replace and enhance their core business IT systems and infrastructure.

Our review of the two case study programs highlighted examples of better practice, as well as areas where the existing program governance, management and assurance arrangements could be strengthened to mitigate the risk of the programs not achieving their intended policy outcomes, or being delivered on time and budget. It also identified a number of opportunities to strengthen the agency’s existing corporate policies, frameworks and processes for scoping, planning, prioritising, governing, delivering, monitoring, assuring and evaluating its major reform programs in future.

As a result of our review, the agency is now making a number of changes to its existing corporate governance bodies, functions, policies and processes, as well as implementing a number of recommended enhancements to the two case study programs. These changes will improve the agency’s ability to govern and manage its overall portfolio of major reform programs, while also helping to improve how individual policy, service delivery and IT reform programs are managed in future.