Each formal review will be led by two independent lead reviewers, and agencies are consulted on their appointment. The lead reviewers are supported by a team from the central agencies with a mix of analytical skills, evaluative skills and knowledge of the agency. The agency is responsible for nominating a Senior Manager/Sponsor and an Agency Representative to provide logistical support and coordination of agency interviews. The formal review team uses a combination of document analysis and interviews, including interviews with stakeholders, to form a judgment on performance against the lead questions.
The on-site review period runs for about five weeks, with the overall review process taking up to twelve weeks. The process is broadly split into five phases:
- Pre-assessment / Preparation: The Terms of Reference are agreed and orientation is provided to the agency by the central agencies team. The agency will ensure the review team have a dedicated work area on-site with access to facilities such as computers, printers, internet and intranet. The agency also organises interviews and collates documents for the review.
- Initial Research and Analysis: The review team are on-site reviewing documentation and conducting initial interviews. A working report summarising their analysis is provided to the lead reviewers. The interview schedule for the intensive review phase is further refined.
- Intensive Assessment: Lead reviewers are based on-site conducting interviews and undertaking their analysis. They complete the first draft of their review report.
- Calibration: The agency provides feedback on the first draft report and develops an initial action plan. Central agency representatives review the review report and initial action plan. Lead reviewers incorporate feedback from the agency and central agency representatives into the second draft review report.
- Moderation / Publication: Once a tranche of reviews has been completed, central agency chief executives conduct a moderation process to ensure quality and consistency. The moderation process uses analysis across the tranche of review reports, and involves review teams, agencies and lead reviewers. The agency action plan is also finalised in consultation with the central agency chief executives. Agencies engage with their relevant Minister(s) and lead reviewers before publication of reports. Results will also be reported to Cabinet. Publication of moderated reports occurs in tranches every six months.