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1. Governance framework

The governance framework for the planning and development of health facilities generally represents the joint interests of the Department of Health and participating health service / agency, to ensure projects undertaken remain within the approved scope, budget and timeframe.

This joint arrangement reflects the respective roles and responsibilities within the Victorian public health system, with the department as system manager and relevant health service / agency as service deliverers.

The governance framework adopted for specific projects will vary depending on a range of factors, including the:

  • scale of the health service and its health campuses
  • number of concurrent planning and implementation projects underway
  • size, significance and complexity of individual projects.

Governance groups

For smaller, less complex capital investment projects, a project control group (PCG) is established and provides the forum for the key stakeholders including the department and the service delivery agency to come together to jointly manage their interests.

The PCG focus is to manage specific capital investment projects with approved service plans, from initiation to financial completion of the construction contract. Capital investment projects include works and services associated with establishing building and construction as well as infrastructure. This includes design and procurement as well as administration of consultants and builders.

For larger and more complex projects or multiple health service campuses, a steering committee (SC) may be formed to oversee departmental and agency service planning and strategic planning issues generally. The SC will via this arrangement monitor and oversee one or more PCG's to ensure:

  • there is a coordinated approach to a number of capital investments
  • the focus of each project is to meet overall health services objectives.

The SC will consider the associated interests impacting service delivery such as workforce planning, business case development, ICT, and communications strategy. The SC also sets the framework and gives guidance on the management and coordination work to be undertaken generally by a project planning team (PPT).

A PPT provides the SC with operational support. This may include the coordination of several PCG's, associated planning and development activities typically being undertaken on a single campus or within a health service area of responsibility. The PPT makes recommendations to the SC and ensures actions and priorities are undertaken accordingly.

The governance arrangement will need to address government policies including obtaining benefits and value from investment, ensuring probity is maintained and compliance with statutory requirements.

Membership

Membership of each of these groups is usually determined by the organisational role and responsibility of the individual, and/or the specific skills and experience the individual may bring to the role.

External members may also be included where relevant, for example from central government agencies. Specialist expertise may attend meetings by invitation rather than becoming members of the SC. Membership is usually jointly agreed by senior management of the department and the health service / agency.

Governance structure

A typical governance structure is shown in the following diagram. The structure is only to be used as a guide and may need to be modified to suit the project requirements. The governance structure may also be revised at key project stages to ensure an optimal arrangement for other phases of planning and/or project development.

Typical health project governance structure
Figure 1 - Typical health project governance structure