Market-led proposals

(Report 12: 2018–19)

Audit objective

The objective of this audit was to determine the extent to which the market-led proposals initiative is meeting its objectives to create jobs and stimulate the economy. We assessed how well agencies have designed and applied the market-led proposals process to achieve the initiative's objectives.

Overview

Market-led proposals are proposals from the private sector that seek an exclusive commercial arrangement with government to deliver a service or infrastructure to meet a community need. They always include a role for government, such as providing access to government land, assets, information, or networks. In return, market-led proposals are expected to provide benefits to government and/or the Queensland community.

Market-led proposals are suited to projects that can be funded by the private sector and that are of low cost and low risk to the Queensland Government.
 

Recommendations

We recommend that the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning:

1. provides additional information to better inform proponents about how to improve their chances of success in the market-led proposals process (Chapter 2)

This should include:

  • publishing the reasons why market-led proposals are not successful
  • publishing the government’s priority areas
  • updating the submission templates to prompt proponents to self-assess their proposals against the government’s priorities.

2. improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the market-led proposal initiative by strengthening the guidelines for assessors and decision-makers and introducing quality assurance processes (Chapters 2 and 3)

This should include:

  • removing inconsistencies in the guidelines and supplementary material on the extent (threshold) to which assessment criteria must be met to justify proposals becoming market-led proposals and progressing through the stages
  • requiring all staff involved in the market-led proposal process to make conflict of interest declarations when proposals are first submitted for assessment
  • requiring assessment teams and decision-makers to use definitive language in justifying decisions about whether a proponent has met each criterion before progressing proposals to the next stage and decisions about proponents reimbursing government costs
  • having an external quality assurance process to provide reasonable assurance that process controls are effective and the policies and guidelines are applied consistently and appropriately at all stages of the market-led proposal process
  • setting clear target timeframes for decisions and resolving issues to ensure proposals are not delayed unnecessarily.

3. consults local government (where relevant) earlier in the assessment process for the market-led proposal initiative (Chapter 2)

4. establishes clear protocols for communication about market-led proposals, ensuring that announcements occur once sufficient assessment has been undertaken to determine the project is suitable and sufficiently viable (Chapter 3)

5. improves the performance evaluation and reporting framework for the market-led proposal initiative (Chapters 2 and 3)

This should include:

  • developing more outcome, effectiveness, and efficiency focused performance measures aligned to the initiative’s high-level economic objective/s
  • monitoring and reporting on the costs of government’s contribution to market-led proposals at all stages and on the recovery of costs from proponents
  • implementing a process for assessing the realisation of benefits with proponents.

6. thoroughly assesses the benefits and risks of applying the market-led proposal process to any future policy on government targeted initiatives (Chapter 3).

Other reports and resources

Delivering shared corporate services in Queensland (Report 3: 2018–19)
Confidentiality and disclosure of government contracts (Report 8: 2017–18)