High Value High Risk


Under the High Value High Risk (HVHR) Project Assurance Framework, infrastructure and ICT projects identified as being high value or high risk are subject to more rigorous scrutiny and approval processes.

The HVHR Framework comprises a series of project assurance checks and processes for HVHR projects to increase the likelihood that they will achieve their stated benefits and be delivered successfully, on time and to budget.

To this end, the HVHR Framework seeks to:

  • verify that robust project planning and procurement processes have been followed to support quality project planning and procurement processes and documentation; and
  • provide impartial and informed advice to Government on deliverability risks.

A project will be classified as being HVHR if it is a budget-funded project that is:

  • considered high risk using DTF’s risk assessment tool, the Project Profile Model (PPM);
  • considered medium risk using the PPM and has a TEI of between $100 million and $250 million;
  • considered low risk using the PPM but has a TEI over $250 million; or
  • identified by Government as warranting the rigour applied to HVHR investments.

HVHR investments are subject to extra scrutiny and ongoing involvement by the Treasurer and the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF). Each HVHR project will have its own Project Assurance Plan. These require DTF, in consultation with departments, to assess project risks at each stage and determine whether there is a case for exemption from certain project assurance functions and/or whether there are additional functions (above the standard set) that should apply. As a result, the level of DTF involvement will vary for each project.

Possible levels of extra scrutiny and ongoing involvement by the Treasurer and DTF are summarised in the table below. 

Stage  Action 
Business case approval    
  • Confirmation of the deliverability of the business case (on time and on budget) as part of the budget process.
Project tendering

 Treasurer's approval of:

  • procurement documentation prior to release;
  • preferred bid contracts, prior to signing; and
  • any major variations.
Project implementation

 Closer oversight by DTF of:

  • time, scope and budget reporting and analysis; and
  • any agreed interventions or remedial actions.


High Value High Risk projects and Gateway reviews

HVHR projects are also subject to compulsory Gateway reviews and active monitoring throughout the life of the project. Gateway reviews (Gates 1 through 6) are compulsory for all HVHR projects.

All individual recommendations in a Gateway report with a 'red rating' must be reported to the Treasurer outlining the risk mitigation/s. The report will be submitted to the Treasurer via DTF and must use a recommendation action plan (RAP). This is for Gates 1 to 4 only. See reporting Gateway red flags in related publications.

As part of the changes to the HVHR Framework, departments are required to release Gate 6 –benefits evaluation reports to DTF for reporting to Government.

An overview of how the HVHR framework, including the Gateway Review Process, is applied to market-led proposals can be found below:

ICT project assurance reviews

ICT Project Assurance Reviews (PAR) were introduced as part of the Government’s ICT Project Assurance Framework approved in November 2017.

PAR reviews aim to provide timely independent advice to the sponsoring Department and DTF on the current progress of the program. They also provide an opportunity for Government to be advised of any areas of concern regarding the program’s progress and recommendations to improve program deliverability.

The terms of reference for PARs are individually composed, based upon current and approaching key decision points and identified risks. PAR reviews are organised by DTF’s gateway unit with the costs for the review borne by the initiator of the review.