Special inquiry into government programs and projects: final report

20 Feb 2018

On 12 May 2017, the Special Inquirer, John Langoulant, commenced examining 26 government programs and projects as directed in the Terms of Reference. This number grew to 31 once some of the referred issues were examined more closely. The Special Inquirer also commenced work on the requirement to provide a clear and concise explanation of the key drivers or failures in decision making that led to the State’s operating deficits and unsustainable debt position.

The Special Inquirer assembled a small team of public servants and engaged external expertise to fulfil the requirements of government.

The Special Inquirer oversaw the development of a sound approach to the examination of programs and projects which entailed research and discovery, requests for documentation from relevant government agencies, and establishment of a baseline for good project management against which each of the projects could be measured.

Given the short timeframes, examination for each project was carefully scoped to ensure that only pertinent matters were reviewed. Where elements of projects had already been reviewed by a credible source, and the project included other aspects yet to be examined, the scope was narrowed to those aspects. For example, The GovNext-ICT Program’s procurement project has been reviewed twice. To avoid duplication, the Special Inquiry focussed on the next phase of the program – transition. For very broad projects such as the Perth Children’s Hospital, time constraints meant the Special Inquiry had to focus on the issues around the construction of the building. Other aspects such as clinical commissioning were not reviewed. Even with these self-imposed limitations, the resulting report is of a considerable size.

This report is presented in two parts. Volume 1 addresses a number of overarching issues which emerged through the course of the Inquiry. It also contains a chapter which explains why the state was left with a substantial budget deficit and large debt despite having experiencing an exceptional growth spurt generated by the resource sector. Volume 2 contains the Special Inquirer’s response to each of the 31 matters reviewed as required by the terms of reference.

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