Census project failure – where was the oversight function?

I made some brief comments regarding the census failure a few months ago. I was quite interested to read the Report of the Independent Review of New Zealand’s 2018 Census

At the State Services Commission (many years ago), I was involved in the establishment of the New Zealand Gateway program. “Gateway is an assurance methodology for major investments which was developed by the United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in 2001. It is an independent and confidential peer review process that examines projects and programmes at key points in their lifecycles to assess their progress and to rate the likelihood of successful delivery of their outcomes.” Refer here for more details.

It seems the Gateway process has failed in this situation or did it? I have placed an OIA with Treasury for a copy of the Gateway reports. It will be interesting to see if they release them. For the time being the census project delivers up many teaching points in the classroom.

In the meantime, I recommend reading Grant Avery’s commentary “Does Treasury’s Gateway Review process need to be more accountable?

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