Findings of independent review

The findings and recommendations of an independent review into the Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre project were presented to Council and released to the public this afternoon.

At today's Council meeting (December 11) Morrison Low, a management consultant firm who carried out the review, presented their report after spending two months examining the project from the beginning to its completion.

Morrison Low was engaged by Council in October 2014 to undertake a review of the Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre project looking at the decision making process, project delivery and additional costs.

The report found there were five areas that could have been managed better; having a feasibility study, project governance, project management, consultation and project reporting.

Council's chief executive Andrew Dalziel says adopting the review's findings and recommendations will help ensure Council delivers projects more effectively in the future.

"What's important is how we use the information and apply the recommendations to other projects of a similar scale so the same shortcomings are not repeated.

"No Council wants to be in the position where a project has run over time and over budget. We needed to understand what happened and how it happened and this report gives us those answers."

As part of the review project documentation, Council reports and associated correspondence spanning 13 years were reviewed and major stakeholders and staff were interviewed.

The expected cost of the public review was about $30,000 however due to its complex nature, the total cost currently sits at $55,000. This will be met from within Council's overall budget.

In conducting their review of the project, four members of the Morrison Low practice looked over a substantial amount of information and conducted interviews with 27 stakeholders.

Mr Dalziel says the cost of the review reflects both the long history of the project, its contentious nature and as such the depth of the inquiry that has been required.

"When objectively measured against best practice it is clear there have been shortcomings from the project's inception through to completion."

Council will continue to review its processes to ensure best practice is being followed.

As a result of the Art Gallery and Heritage Centre project new measures have been put in place. These include:

  • The appointment of a senior project manager
  • The development of new project management templates and documentation
  • A project sub-committee for the EA Networks Centre project
  • The adoption of a new Delegations Policy
  • The adoption of a new Procurement Policy

Click here to read the review.

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Page reviewed: 11 Dec 2014 2:43pm