Evaluation of the GP Super Clinics Program 2007-2008

5.2 Perspectives on Delays

Page last updated: 2012

Based on the results of the survey, Department staff reported 181 individual events of delay to the thirty-six sites for which survey results were obtained. In contrast, funding recipients acknowledged 82 events of delay to the thirty-three sites for which survey results were obtained. Three GP Super Clinics did not respond to this section of the surveys despite several approaches.

There was agreement about the number of delays that had affected a particular project on only 7 out of 33 instances, although a very close correlation on the number of delays was evident in a further two cases. The number of times a particular type of delay event had affected the progress of the projects was agreed to by Departmental staff and funding recipients on only 4 occasions out of 27, although there was close agreement (within a score of one) on a further four occasions.

Funding recipients in the telephone interviews were less inclined to acknowledge that a delay had occurred if the Department had subsequently granted an extension of time either to the particular Funding Agreement milestone date or to all subsequent milestone dates. In effect, the granting of an extension of time was perceived by the funding recipients as having extinguished the delay. In addition, where an extension of time was granted for a delay to a milestone date and this extension of time, as the consequence of a “knock-on effect”, resulted in an extension of all subsequent milestone dates, the Departmental survey responses recorded delays to each of those subsequent milestones, while funding recipients treated that delay as a single delay only.

Results in delays impacting on timelines reported by funding recipients and Departmental staff are reported in Table 2. Most delays to the 33 GP Super Clinics that completed surveys were recorded for events of delay during the land acquisition phase (23 events out of 82 or 28% of reported delays). These responses are largely consistent, in apportionment of cause of delay but not in numbers of delays, with responses from Departmental staff.

Table 2: Numbers and Proportion of Delays Reported by Funding Recipients and Departmental Staff

Development PhaseFunding RecipientsDepartmental Staff
No. of DelaysProportion of Delay Causes (%)No. of DelaysProportion of Delay Causes (%)
Land acquisition
23
28
54
30
Development application
20
24
37
21
Construction
16
20
22
12
Appointment of builder
11
13
32
18
Funding approval
7
9
10
5
Preparation of tender and construction documentation
5
6
26
14
Total
82
100
181
100
This quantification of delays requires some qualification. Not all causes of delay were necessarily of the same gravity in terms of their impact on the overall progress of the projects. The simplified reduction of those survey results should not be read as an evaluation of their relative importance as a delay event because, at least up until commencement of construction, there are a number of concurrent “Critical Paths” for the developments, and delay in one of these paths may not necessarily translate to a delay in the overall progress of the works. For example, a delay in preparation of tender documentation or the appointment of the builder may not translate to a delay in the overall progress of the works if the concurrent approval of the DA was the more critical activity and it was not delayed. Conversely, delays in approval of funding might and have proved terminal for a project, eclipsing any concurrent delay in, for example, Development or Building Approvals.