This section sets out the factors that must be taken into account, at a minimum, when undertaking a peer review of improvement projects. The peer review must include at least a review of the:
The Transport Agency requires an independent, external peer review for any improvement project over $5million construction cost. Approved Organisations and the Transport Agency (state highways) are encouraged to have small projects (between $300,000 and $5million construction cost) externally peer reviewed if the cost and/or benefit risks associated with these are considered high or the applicant lacks experience in the development and implementation of such projects. In any event, all small project evaluations should be internally peer reviewed.
Where an external peer review is required or warranted, the peer reviewer shall be selected and appointed by the applicant, and must:
For very large, complex programmes and projects, a peer review panel, covering a range of competencies, may be most appropriate.
The Transport Agency reserves the right to undertake its own peer review of any project or to require the Approved Organisation or the Transport Agency(state highways) to appoint a specific peer reviewer or to establish a peer review panel with appropriate competencies.
The reviewer must first determine whether the project is eligible for funding in that it fits the description of one of the activity classes in the current Government Policy Statement on Land Transport.
The reviewer must ensure that the project evaluation conforms to the requirements of this Knowledge Base, including that it has been assessed by the applicant in conformance with the Transport Agency’s Assessment Framework.
To check credibility, the reviewer must:
The reviewer must assess the do-minimum as stated in the project report and must determine whether it is realistic, and does not represent another option to be considered in the analysis.
The reviewer must examine the evaluation and judge whether all feasible alternatives and options have been identified and considered adequately. These should include alternative transport modes, where applicable, and low cost options.
The reviewer needs to be satisfied that the process to select the preferred alternative and option(s) has been robust and includes incremental assessment where appropriate.
The reviewer needs to be satisfied that the strategic fit rating for the activity is correct.
The reviewer needs to be satisfied that the effectiveness rating for the activity is correct.
The reviewer shall check compliance with parallel cost estimate process requirements, where applicable.
The reviewer must determine whether the benefit and cost appraisal has conformed to all the relevant requirements of the Transport Agency’s Economic Evaluation Manual. The reviewer must determine whether there are any outstanding issues not addressed in the project report.
If there is a departure from the requirements, or any defect or omission, the reviewer must comment on its significance.
Where the reviewer considers that there have been discrepancies and departures from procedure, or has concerns on cost and/or benefit estimation, the reviewer will determine the project benefit cost ratio (BCR) and compare this with the applicant’s calculations.
The reviewer must determine whether the options identified in the analysis are mutually exclusive options of the same project. If the options identified:
In special cases, other economic impacts may be considered (e.g. wider economic benefits). These are to be shown as sensitivity analyses, in addition to the EEM procedure economic analysis.
Where supplementary (third party) funding is involved, a government BCR must be determined in addition to the national BCR.
The reviewer must ensure that:
The reviewer must consider whether the sensitivity of critical aspects of the project evaluation has been covered off adequately, paying particular attention to:
The reviewer must raise in writing with the applicant organisation for funding assistance (and its representative) any:
The reviewer must request that the applicant organisation:
The review must note any outstanding concerns in the review report.