Strategic Review of Joint Programs
Client: Murray-Darling Basin Authority
Garry Smith and Denis Flett of DG Consulting were part of a team (led by Sinclair Knight Merz and including Frontier Economics) which undertook a strategic review of the River Murray and Natural Resource Management programs which are jointly funded by the jurisdictions with a direct interest in the Murray-Darling Basin. The review was commissioned by the Basin Officials Committee (BOC) in late 2010 to comprehensively assess current investments in the Joint Programs and recommend future priorities in recognition of significant changes in the business environment, such as the emerging Basin Plan. The review was undertaken in close collaboration with the Review Taskforce and included two rounds of individual face-to-face consultations and analysis of submissions from all Parties involved.
The Review assessed the operation of the current Joint Programs ‘model’ and addressed the importance of program governance, transparency, efficiency, effectiveness, delivery, cost sharing and accountability. Key findings of the review covered exemplary characteristics of existing programs, and governance, strategic, operational and financial issues. In looking forward the Review recommended the development of an integrated set of building blocks: a Strategic Framework, Criteria for joint investment, Scope, Investment Priorities (aligned to Basin Plan), Program Structure and Delivery Mechanisms. The Review also provided clear recommendations for improving governance outcomes and program and financial performance, and a Strategic Forward Agenda to realise benefits in a short period of time. The recommendations and way forward were agreed by BOC.
DG Consulting were influential in several aspects of the review, including taking a building blocks approach for a new future for the joint programs, developing criteria for qualification and prioritisation of activity for joint investment, and designing and facilitating a pivotal workshop with BOC.