This Memorandum provides direction for the provision of reliable information about infrastructure costs and delivery timetables to the public which reflects the relevant stage of an infrastructure project. Information must be provided in accordance with the principles and guidance contained in the guide, Timely Information on Infrastructure Projects. This Memorandum also provides advice on providing information to the public about transactions undertaken with the private sector, such as unsolicited proposals and other direct deals.
Providing reliable information on infrastructure projects
The NSW Government is delivering a record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline. Infrastructure projects are best delivered where budgets and delivery programs reflect well defined scope, design and risk analysis. Premature determination and disclosure of cost, scope and time parameters can be counterproductive for project teams, design professionals and construction contractors. That impact needs to be balanced with the requirement to keep the public and Parliament as informed as possible.
The Information on Infrastructure Projects Guide, developed by Infrastructure NSW, explains the stages of project development and the level of detail that may be confidently provided to the public at each stage.
The guiding principles for providing reliable project information are as follows:
Confidence in cost, scope and delivery timeframe increases as project progresses.
Where specific detail is not yet available, there is still useful information that can be provided to the community and industry.
In early stages, Government can clearly communicate its intent to address a need and the steps it proposes to take to provide a solution.
Government may defer an investment decision until after environmental consultation processes (e.g., the Environmental Impact Statement) for large complex projects to ensure that Government has a reliable cost estimate.
Premature provision of detail on solutions, scope, costs and timeframes may lead to disappointment in the community and counterproductive pressure on project delivery teams. Early detail on project scope can undermine project teams’ assessment of alternative investment options which curtails long-term value creation.
By contrast, effective communication as stages proceed provides confidence that decision making is sound, that public funds are being well managed and that project benefits will be delivered.
To support these guiding principles, information on scope, funding, costs and timelines should not be provided until a project is significantly progressed to a point that it can be accurately and confidently confirmed. Additionally, costs and timelines should be presented as ranges and be qualified by the level of maturity of scoping and design.
Infrastructure NSW will hold regular sessions with Ministerial Offices and agencies to raise awareness of the Guide and explain the guiding principles in more detail.
Information disclosure for transactions with the private sector
Transactions being undertaken with the private sector such as unsolicited proposals, other direct deals and investment attraction proposals will not be announced until a binding transaction has been completed, except where there are existing information disclosure requirements.
Information disclosure requirements relating to unsolicited proposals and direct deals are currently available in NSW Unsolicited Proposals: Guide for Submission and Assessment and other guidance on direct dealing, including the ICAC publication Direct Negotiations: Guidelines for Managing Risks.
Who needs to know and/or comply with this?
- Advisory Entities (including Boards and Committees)
- Executive agencies related to Departments
- Separate agencies
- State Owned Corporations
- Statutory Authorities/Bodies
- Subsidiaries of the NSW Government established under the Corporations Act
- Date Issued
- Aug 9, 2022
- Review Date
- Mar 9, 2023
- Replaced By