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5. Project control group (PCG)


In the circumstance where a steering committee (SC) exists, the PCG is responsible for detailed planning, design and implementation of specific service plans and development projects and reports to the SC either directly or through the project planning team (PPT).

In the circumstance where no SC exists, the PCG assumes the responsibilities of the SC such as overseeing as well as the planning, design and implementation of the service plans and development projects. In this arrangement it is the PCG's responsibility to ensure appropriate representation of all views is considered during the business case development phase.

The PCG will be required to receive and consider regular reports including monthly progress and user group issues; make recommendations and/or endorsements and confirm appointments such as tender selection panel members.

PCG meetings are usually held monthly.


Generally, the PCG comprises representatives from the health service / agency, program, region and Infrastructure Planning and Delivery (IPD) branch who have the delegated authority to make recommendations as authorised within the specific phase of a small to medium sized project.

The PCG usually comprises four to six members. There shall be equal representation for the agency and the Department of Health on the IPD.

Complex building services, staging and maintaining safe access, specialised equipment, technology and service delivery / clinical practices are often required as part of a project. Decanting and relocation of health service delivery staff is also complex. Participation by staff and users who will be responsible for facility operation and maintenance is very important. Where new facilities are being developed consideration needs to be given to early appointment of these managers to enable them to participate in planning, design and development of the project. It is recommended that user group(s) be established to facilitate this consultation process.

During the early stages including service planning, master plan and feasibility study processes, the regional director (or their nominated representative) is usually the chairperson of the IPD. For subsequent stages the health service / agency is the principal for the project and either the CEO or board member will be the chairperson.

The IPD project manager is appointed by the director IPD. The IPD project manager is to provide the following services:

  • expertise in matters associated with the provision of capital works projects
  • technical expertise related to the planning and implementation process
  • managing consultants and construction contracts and compliance with development requirements.

In addition to the PCG membership, other people can be invited to attend and / or report to the PCG meetings as required. These may include:

  • project manager and / or principal consultant (recommended to report to every meeting)
  • department head(s) / unit manager(s)
  • health service / agency engineer, asset or facility manager
  • health service / agency finance officer
  • specialist experts or consultants, e.g. quantity surveyor, ESD or probity advisors
  • other departmental representatives
  • construction manager / contractor (particularly construction management projects)
  • user groups representative(s).

Consultants and other agency representative staff such as project liaison officer appointed by the agency (for larger projects) may be in attendance at meetings but shall not be PCG members responsible for making decisions.

PCG Structure

The following is a typical governance structure for normal projects. For planning for particular attributes or outcomes or development projects where different procurement methods apply, the structure may require modifying.

Organisational Relationships for PCG governance arrangements
Figure 2 - Organisational Relationships for PCG governance arrangements

PCG Responsibilities

The PCG should:

Oversee the project

  • Develop the project scope; establish the budget and program parameters, and ensure the content of the works to be included meet the project's performance requirements.
  • Establish user groups where appropriate.
  • Ensure only those functional, cost and program matters contained in the approved brief are implemented and all changes to the brief and budget are sufficiently reported to the department so as to permit review and approval of such changes.
  • Develop and endorse the scope and content of the project brief for all consultants. Direct and monitor the services, responsibilities and duties of the consultants throughout all stages of the appointment.

Make recommendations

  • Endorse recommendations on the appointment and engagement of major consultant appointments such as the project manager, principal consultant, architect, engineer, quantity surveyor.
  • Endorse recommendations for entering contracts with contractors and suppliers.
  • Apply / interpret policy, planning objectives and operational recommendations. Where necessary escalate the need for policy interpretation or issue resolution.
  • Seek funds for proposals to vary the project.
  • Review and endorse project reports submitted by consultants.

Seek approvals

Seek approval from the department to advance from one phase to the next and confirm the following:

  • funding sources
  • commitment of funds
  • change(s) in scope and / or additional expenditure.

Recommend / endorse payments

The responsibility of the PCG will be to jointly manage the project on behalf of the department and health service / agency from inception through to financial completion and post occupancy evaluation.

  • Endorse all payments to its consultants, contractors and suppliers.
  • Recommend commitment of funds, expenditure of contingency sums and payments.

Although the PCG will have delegated authority for day-to-day management, approval will need to be sought from the department and health service / agency to:

  • enter into contracts
  • commit capital funds
  • change scope of works
  • increase or vary the budget.