The methods for the establishment phase included five elements:
- Desk reviews
- Surveys of GP Super Clinic Directors
- Surveys of Department of Health and Ageing staff involved with specific sites
- Telephone interviews with GP Clinic Directors
- Development and application of a value for money tool.
Desk ReviewsDesk reviews of the documents associated with the establishment aspect of the Program were undertaken by the member of the consultancy team with significant experience in assessment and evaluation of major construction projects across Australia. The documents included those relevant to the construction phase including:
- Development applications
- Project Plans, where available
- Variation notices.
GP Super Clinic Directors SurveyA pen-and-paper survey was sent to the GP Super Clinic Directors (funding recipients) to provide information on the construction of the GP Super Clinics and to verify and further explore the processes and variations for construction.
GP Super Clinic Directors InterviewThe GP Super Clinic Directors were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews. The interview aimed to support the completion of the survey and was thus tailored to each of the GP Super Clinics, dependent on the information provided in the survey. Additional information sought in the interview included factors which impacted on construction.
Department of Health and Ageing Staff SurveyA pen-and-paper survey was forwarded to Department of Health and Ageing staff with site-specific responsibility for each of the GP Super Clinics. The purpose of the survey was to gather perceptions of the processes of construction and reasons for variations, to allow comparison with the perceptions of GP Super Clinic Directors.
Value for MoneyThe value for money tool was developed by members of the evaluation team with expertise in construction and quantity surveying. The value for money evaluation methodology was based on:
- A location factor, recognising the projects’ remoteness from large population centres and industry with correspondingly higher costs per square metre (m2)
- A construction complexity factor, in the form of three light/medium/heavy construction categories, recognising that construction costs rise as construction complexity rises
- A construction type factor, related to new construction, building conversion, building refurbishment or tenancy fit-out, recognising the lower construction costs as the extent of new construction work decreases under each of these categories
- A timing factor, recognising when the construction was or will be carried out, with commensurate allowance in the range of prices (per m2) for escalation.
This evaluation methodology is commonly and routinely used throughout the property industry, in particular as a method of checking feasibility or viability of development projects. To ensure that any “underage” or “overage” in the cost of one element of a project (e.g. car parking, consultants’ fees, fixtures, furnishings and equipment) does not affect the assessment of the dollar ($) cost per m2 of the building works, the surveys sought information on these other elements so that they could be excluded from the assessment. Where any of these elements was valued by the survey respondents at substantially higher or lower costs than quantity surveyors assessed as reasonable, further enquiries of the respondents were made. In most cases, the cost information originally provided by the respondents was amended, with this amended information used in the value for money assessment.