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Transport & Infrastructure

The Newell Highway Program Alliance

An Assurance case study

The program

The Newell Highway Program Alliance is a program alliance to construct approximately 30 overtaking lanes along the length of the Newell Highway, from Tocumwal in the south to Goondiwindi in the north. The program has involved the establishment of a program office in regional NSW overseeing all development, design, approvals and delivery for the overtaking lanes, save for an initial two overtaking lanes that will be construct only.

The alliance delivery approach is based on Non Owner Participants (NOPs) being issued Work Packages for delivery with the a total program cost budgeted of $154 million. Works are delivered under a Project Alliance Agreement (PAA) which outlines the Commercial Framework of the contract.

Our role

As a recognised leader in Alliances, OCM was engaged to perform an audit function prior to award of the contract and over the delivery period of the Alliance. Our role involved drawing on our deep expertise in Alliance auditing extending over multiple sectors for the past 10 years to undertake the following tasks:

  • Determine if the declarations made by the shortlisted Proponent in the RFP commercial schedule, with respect to their direct costs and overheads, were accurate and supported by their management information systems.
  • Ascertain if the NOP had implemented an effective financial system to meet its financial record keeping obligations under the PAA; and
  • Undertake transaction verification audits on a (notionally) quarterly basis at the NOPs’ premises over the course of the Program. These audits focus on confirming the validity (on a sample basis) of transactions included in monthly progress claims submitted to NSW Roads and Maritime by the NOPs.

Our engagement not only involved auditing the costs but providing independent advice to NSW Roads & Maritime on claims process and commercial framework matters such as Project Outturn Costs and Project Fees.

This engagement is currently ongoing and is scheduled to end in 2022.

For other Assurance projects refer to NSW Education Act 1990, Section 83 audits, Maintenance & Management of Biomedical Equipment,Operations of the Courts, The Single Digital Patient Record, Development of an Assurance Map, Audit of Council’s operations, Energy Social Programs.