Digital and ICT Investment review

What is investment review?

The Office of Assurance and Investment undertakes investment reviews for significant digital and ICT enabled initiatives to verify:

  • strategic whole of government and agency business alignment
  • that best practice is applied to ensure initiatives are planned for success
  • appropriate assurance is being applied
  • initiatives represent wise investments; and
  • identify potential for cross agency collaboration.

The Investment review is an independent review at set points within the initiative lifecycle, complementing the timing of initiative gated assurance reviews. The reviews are presented to the Digital Economy Leaders Deputy Directors-General Sub-Group (DELSG) for review. OAI has delegated authority to administratively process reviews for some assurance level 2 projects.

Investment reviews are also used where necessary to inform Cabinet Budget Review Committee (CBRC) consideration of initiatives.

It is acknowledged that:

  • Directors-General are accountable for business delivery activities within their agency
  • Agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are accountable for ICT enabled business change within their agencies (including the assessment of assurance levels and alignment to strategy)
  • Program Senior Responsible Officers (SRO’s) and Project Executives are accountable for ensuring that initiatives are adequately assured.

Within this context, the investment review process aims to supplement existing governance arrangements

Which Queensland Government bodies are in scope for ICT investment review?

All Queensland Government Department assurance level 2, 3 and 4 initiatives must participate in investment review.

Investment review process steps

There are five steps.

1. Identify and Register your initiative

The first step is to identify your digital and ICT-enabled initiatives within your Department and register them with OAI. The initiative should be registered when the initiative has been prioritised to commence. Registration will:

  • contribute to building a portfolio view of planned investments across the sector
  • assists facilitation of cross agency collaboration and productivity
  • supports OAI to provide advice and guidance on:
    • similar or related investment proposals across the whole of government pipeline and those initiatives currently being implemented
    • opportunities for the re-use of digital and ICT-enabled solution and platforms across the sector
    • ensuring departments align service needs with government strategic direction

Departments can register their initiatives using Digital Investment Advice form or online.

If the initiative has already commenced you should still register your initiative with OAI. Your Department’s Senior ICT Investment Consultant will be your contact within OAI.

2. Determine the assurance level of your initiative

In line with the assurance framework, complete the assurance profiling tool. Assurance profiling is the first step to determine the appropriate assurance level and the degree of independence and scrutiny required to adequately address the complexity and impact implications the initiative represents to service delivery Make sure you have entered your reasoning into each criteria field to justify the rating. The tool will provide an Assurance Level from 1 to 4. The assurance profile level will also inform the investment review process. An investment review will be required if your initiative has been assessed with an assurance profile level of 2, 3 or 4.

The Senior Responsible Officer or Project Executive should approve the completed assurance profiling tool. The assurance profile should then be periodically re-assessed when there are significant changes to the initiative such as changes to project scope, complexity, impact and/or risks.

Once approved, email the completed assurance profiling tool to If you have questions or need support, contact the Investment Review Team at

3. Prepare an assurance plan

All Queensland Government initiatives must complete and maintain, an assurance plan for the life of the initiative. A template assurance plan is provided.

The assurance plan will outline what assurance activities will be undertaken, when it is timed to occur, considers who will be undertaking the assurance, and what the budget will need to be.

The approved assurance plan, and subsequent versions, must be registered with OAI.

Assurance for an initiative should be planned to reflect:

  • the initiative assurance profile level
  • the baselined schedule, critical path and timing of key decision points
  • the initiative risks (threats and opportunities).

The first version of the assurance plan should be prepared when starting up an initiative, after the approval of the assurance profile. It should be completed in consultation with the Accountable Officer and include a budget for assurance. The assurance plan will be influenced by who is able to undertake the reviews and the number of reviews that are planned in line with the minimum assurance requirements.

The Accountable Officer approves the final draft version of the plan and any subsequent updates. The plan will need to be maintained with current dates and any changes to planned reviews.

The timing for investment reviews will be informed by the planned timing of gated assurance reviews. Investment reviews usually occur at two key points for in-scope initiatives:

  1. A concept review is completed first. This will consider if resources should be committed to make a full business case for the initiative. This occurs after the initial gate 0 assurance review for a program and after the Gate 1 assurance review for a project.
  2. An investment decision review is undertaken to consider if the initiative should proceed after it has a full business case. This step occurs before contracts are signed. It is usually timed to occur at the completion of a mid-stage Gate 0 review for a program and the Gate 3 assurance review for a project.

Investment Review

Alignment with Gated Assurance Reviews

Concept Review

For programs occurs after first Gate 0 review.

For projects occurs after Gate 1 assurance review.

Investment Decision Review

For programs occurs after the appropriate mid-stage Gate 0 review.

For projects occurs after the Gate 3 review and prior to making commitments to vendors (e.g., signing contracts).

The investment review team will review your assurance plan and meet with you to discuss your initiative or project and the timelines for submissions to the DELSG.

4. Submit initiative documentation and information

In order to draft an investment review your Senior ICT Investment Consultant will need to review initiative documentation and may also meet with you to discuss where your initiative is currently up to. You should allow for a minimum of 6-8 weeks to navigate the process for each review to allow for review drafting, endorsement and consideration by DELSG.

Investment Review

Requested Documentation

Concept Review

  • Completed current and approved Assurance profiling tool
  • Program brief or Project brief
  • Review report and action plan
  • Initial Business Case
  • Evidence that your SRO has approved the submission
  • Evidence that the initiative is strategically aligned with the Department and Government directions
  • Initial Gate 0 assurance review for a program and action plan or Gate 1 assurance review and action plan for a project
  • Risk and issues register
  • Additional documentation if requested.

Investment Decision Review

  • Evidence that the   initiative is strategically aligned with the Department and Government   directions.
  • Assurance profiling tool if any changes from   the registration version
  • Business case
  • Procurement documentation
  • Gate 3 assurance review and action plan
  • Implementation plan
  • Benefits plan
  • Risks and issues register
  • Evidence of SRO support
  • Staff impact assessment or HR plan
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication plan
  • Additional documentation if requested.

A draft copy of the report is provided to the Department to review and discuss any proposed recommendations of support. The Department must approve the final draft of the report before it is submitted to the DELSG.

5. Wait for an investment review decision and support

The SRO or Project Executive is required to attend the DELSG meeting to provide information regarding the initiative and answer questions that may arise.

You must wait for formal notification of Deputy Directors-General Sub-Group support prior to making any significant commitments. In some cases, support may be provided, subject to specific qualifications being met.

You should not stop work on your initiative or project while waiting for a DELSG decision. Progress it in a way where no major irreversible commitments are made on behalf of the government.

For any questions regarding the investment review process please contact