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Introduction

This page provides general information for Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) about what is involved with the site visits or fieldwork for the different types of investment audit and review activities.

 

Assurance monitoring (Gateway)

Assurance monitoring activities mainly involve the review of the Transport Agency's own planning and investment business processes. They therefore tend to be internally focused and require involvement of different groups or staff within the Transport Agency depending on the review topic. Some topics may involve involvement of Approved Organisations, but there are no standard fieldwork requirements.

 

Investment audits

Investment audits usually require between two to five days at the Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways) to complete the audit fieldwork.

Factors influencing fieldwork time required and the number of auditors or other people involved include:

  • The size and complexity of the Approved Organisation Transport Agency (state highways) and its land transport network, and
  • The planned scope of the audit – including if it involves a technical review or not. 

 

  • Investment audits without technical reviews

    Investment audits without technical reviews

    Investment audits of small-medium sized Approved Organisations will usually be done by one auditor and take up to three days to complete fieldwork. Audits of larger or more complex organisations may involve additional auditors and take four or more days

    These audits provide assurance about Approved Organisation’s and Transport Agency (state highways)  systems and processes to ensure the Transport Agency's funding is properly used and accounted for, the Transport Agency's policy requirements have been met, and contract management is sound. This includes checking that the Transport Agency's procurement procedures are being met, and land transport disbursement is operating to fairly reflect land transport expenditure.

     

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  • Investment audits with technical reviews

    Investment audits with technical reviews

    A proportion of investment audits done each year also include a technical review (in addition to the above audit activities). Technical reviews look at the management and condition of the Approved Organisation’s and Transport Agency's (state highways) network as a whole, including how it has changed over time. A major part of a technical review is a drive-over of the network to assess its condition.

    Fieldwork for investment audits with technical reviews may take up to five days. People involved in the fieldwork may include:

    • Two to three auditors
    • One or more officers from the Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways) – especially desirable is an officer with an understanding of the network maintenance programme
    • A representative from the local Transport Agency office, and
    • An independent local authority engineer from a similar sized council

    The involvement of an independent local authority engineer gives a good opportunity for the collegial exchange of ideas, information, and good practice.

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  • General audit process followed during fieldwork

    General audit process followed during fieldwork

    Information needed for investment audits is requested in writing 4-6 weeks before fieldwork. Ensuring the requested information is ready for review when the auditors visit helps ensure audits can proceed efficiently for both the Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways) and the auditors.

    An entry meeting is held at the start of each audit visit. This is to explain the review process and identify key staff to talk to. When a technical review is involved, a significant proportion of the fieldwork will involve a drive over of the network.

    A close-out meeting is held with key staff at the conclusion of the fieldwork visit. A representative from the local Transport Agency office is normally invited to also attend (if not already involved in an audit). This meeting’s purpose is to discuss all the main audit findings, raise any significant issues found, and indicate any likely recommendations to be included in the audit report.

    A ‘no surprises’ approach is used so that no other audit findings or issues will be subsequently presented in the audit report unless they result from additional information that was unavailable or not presented during the fieldwork. 

     

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Post implementation reviews (benefits realisation)

Post implementation reviews usually involve a visit to the completed project or package site. These site visits may take from a couple of hours to a full day depending on the complexity of the reviewed project and the amount of testing done to measure project benefits. Two-to-three Transport Agency reviewers may attend a site visit. It is preferable that a representative from the Approved Organisation or Transport Agency (state highways) who is knowledgeable about the completed project/package also attends.

Site visits for post implementation reviews are best done after requested information about the completed project/package has been provided to the review team. This enables them to complete a preliminary assessment of a project’s benefits and outcomes.

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