Government as 'smart client' - Chapter 6 glossary & references

Glossary, references and consultations used to produce Government as 'Smart Client'.


ACCA: Association of Consulting Architects Australia.

AIA: Australian Institute of Architects.

Benefit Management Plan: A short document that defines the prerequisites for the delivery of each expected benefit, how the delivery of each benefit will be measured and who will be responsible for measuring and realising each benefit.

Benefit Reports: A report for the investor that depicts the status of delivery of the benefits compared to the original expectations.

BOOT: Build, Own, Operate and Transfer.

Brief: The needs of the client, set out in a document.

Buildability: The ease and efficiency of construction.

Building users’ guide: Complements the operation and maintenance manual and explains to users, maintenance contractors and other how the building works.

Business Case: The document that articulates the rationale for undertaking an investment and whether to support a proposed project, before significant resources are committed to its development.

Capital budget: The money spent on one-off investment costs.

Capital costs: Costs incurred on the purchase of land, buildings, construction and equipment to be used in the production of goods or the delivery of services.

Client team: The in-house team responsible for delivering the project for the client and liaising with project partners.

Consortium: Those private party persons who together intend to deliver a PPP.

Construction manager: A person, or company, that manages the construction and performs a purely management and co-ordination role (without delivery risk) and is generally paid a fee based on a percentage of the value of the works.

Construction management: The client engages a construction manager (contractor or consultant) to manage construction works on its behalf.

Consultant team: The group of professionals you need to produce a project – architects, structural engineers, quantity surveyors and potentially many other specialists.

Contingency: An amount of money kept aside for unforeseen costs.

Contact administrator: The person who ensures the activities and roles are carried out as per the contract. In smaller projects this can be the architect or the quantity surveyor.

Contractor: The industry term for a builder. There can be a main contractor and subcontractors and specialist subcontractors, depending on your procurement route.

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA): The comparison of payback by initial cost and lifecycle costing of options for elements of the project.

Cost Plan: Financial guidelines prepared prior to concept design, from project goals the project delivery can confidently be completed within. Final project definition and documentation occur after the cost plan preparation.

D&C: Design and Construct.

Design, Develop and Construct (DDC): The client prepares a schematic design in addition to performance specifications, thereby giving a degree of control over the design output, while still transferring some of the design risk to the construction contractor.

Design, Develop and Maintain: In this procurement model, the contractor has on-going maintenance obligations in addition to design and construction. Lifecycle costs can be reduced if the contractor takes into account on-going maintenance obligations when designing and constructing the facility.

DBFM: Design, Build, Finance, Maintain.

DBFO: Design, Build, Finance, Operate.

DBOM: Design, Build, Operate, Maintain.

DCM: Design, Construct and Maintain.

Design Champion: A person at a senior level in an organisation who promotes the benefits of good design and supports and challenges colleagues to maintain design quality in their activities.

Design development: is the phase in a construction project where the architect will develop the approved concept design and provide documentation to explain it to the client. They also coordinate the work of specialist consultants, provide a schedule of proposed finishes and review the developed design against the budget. Following this they coordinate and prepare an updated estimate of the cost of the works.

Design team: The group of professionals you need to produce a project, such as architects, structural engineers, quantity surveyors and potentially many other specialists.

Detailed brief: The document that gives all the detail for the client’s needs – down to the requirements in each room.

Detailed design: The documents that describe the design in detail, such as materials, services, structure and all the various products that they are made of.

ECI: Early Contractor Involvement.

ESD: Ecologically Sustainable Development.

Expression of Interest (EOI): A written request that outlines and intention to acquire goods or services. An EOI invites suppliers to indicate their interest in meeting the requirement. It allows for an exploration of the market and an opportunity to identify the level of interest in supplying the requirement. The process may also include a second stage. This may involve: the calling of competitive tenders from all registrants or tenders from a selected list of suitable registrants or direct negotiations with one or more registrants.

Gateway review process: The Gateway Review Process examines projects and programs at key decision points. It aims to provide confidential timely advice to the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) as the person responsible for a project or program. A review provides the SRO with an independent view on the current progress of the project or program and assurance that it can proceed successfully to the next stage. The SRO has ownership of the report and is accountable for the implementation of any recommended remedial action and the progress of the program or project.

Investment Logic Mapping (ILM): A single page depiction of the logic that underpins an investment. It represents an ‘agreed investment story’ that is created in an informed discussion. It its written in plain English in a way that will allow an ordinary person to understand the language and concepts.

Investment Management Standard (IMS): Developed by Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) the IMS aims to develop a best practice approach applied over the full project lifecycle to reduce the risk of investment failure.

High Value High Risk (HVHR): Projects that have a Total Estimated Investment (TEI) of more than $100 million, are classified ‘high risk’ using the Gateway Project Profile Model, or are nominated by the Government as being part of the HVHR process.

Intellectual Property (IP): Inventions, original designs, and practical applications of good ideas, protected by statute law through copyright, patents, registered designs, circuit layout rights and trademarks; also trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information protected against unlawful disclosure by common law and through additional contractual obligations, such as confidentiality agreements.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A measure that has been selected to demonstrate that a benefit expected from an investment has been delivered.

Lifecycle Cost: Refers to the cost of an item or system over its full life. It includes the cost of development, production, ownership (operation, maintenance, support), and disposal if applicable.

Novation: A term used in the contract law describing the act of replacing a party to an agreement with a new party. A novation is valid only with the consent of all parties to the original agreement. An example would be when an architectural team developing the outline design is ‘passed’ from the client’s, to the contractor’s, responsibility.

Outline brief: The document that describes the ‘problem’ that the design needs to ‘answer’ i.e. the client’s goals and requirements.

Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE): Post Occupancy Evaluation provides an assessment of the final built outcome against specified objectives or standards. It can be undertaken as a detailed study by specialist consultants, or as a series of surveys at regular intervals seeking feedback from operators and users. It may also be used to review the procurement process.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI): A procurement process where private sector consortia bids to provide and manage public buildings, usually on a 25-year contact.

Procurement: the management of and stewardship for the construction of a building or infrastructure. Procurement involves not just the contractual method but also the execution of a built project from idea to delivery and onto operation and audit.

Procurement Strategy: Method of project delivery detailing the participant’s methods and outcomes necessary to complete the project strategy.

Project Budget: An amount established by the client which represents the total available funds for the project including building costs, provisional sums, escalation, contingency sums, consultant’s fees, GST, furniture and equipment, approval costs and any other cost, allowance or item defined by the client.

Project program: The ‘timetable’ for when things happen in the project. Essential for all types of project, and usually drawn up by the project manager.

Project Steering Committee (PSC): Provides strategic direction and monitors the project and is usually chaired by the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO).

Project vision: A simple statement of objectives for the particular project.

Public Private Partnership (PPP): A partnership between a public sector organisation, i.e. a local authority and the private sector to deliver a project (and sometimes manage it later as well).

Public realm: The spaces used freely on a day-to-day basis by the general public, such as streets, parks, squares, verges and other public infrastructure.

Public Sector Comparator (PSC): The PSC is an estimate of the hypothetical, whole-of-life cost of a public sector project if delivered by the government. The PSC is developed according to the output specification, the risk allocation and based on the most efficient form of government delivery, adjusted for the lifecycle risks of the project. This is also referred to as the Reference Design.

Quantity surveyor: A professional cost consultant who monitors and advises on costs.

Quality Based Selection (QBS): Enables a transparent selection process for the selection of an architectural design team on the basis of the whole range of criteria without undue loading being given to any one criterion such as the current fashionable profile of a particular design firm, personal association of a member of the selection panel with a particular design firm, or price.

Request for Proposal (RFP): This is between the tender development and tender evaluation stages in a procurement process and is the formal bid document issued by government.

Request for Tender (RFT): Refers to a request for offer against a set of clearly defined and specified requirements. Tenderers are advised of all requirements involved, including the conditions of tendering and proposed contact conditions.

Risk allocation: The allocation of responsibility for dealing with the consequences of each risk to one of the parties to the contract; or alternatively, agreeing to deal with a particular risk through a specified mechanism which may involve sharing that risk.

Senior Responsible Officer (RSO): The SRO is the effective link between the organisation’s senior executive and the management of the project. The SRO is also a core member of the project steering committee, usually the Chair. The SRO has accountability and responsibility for the project.

Stakeholder: People and groups who are affected by, or have a financial or practical interest in, the outcome of your project.

Subcontractor: A firm or person (under contract to the main contractor) who performs work or who supplies and/or installs an item forming part of the works in the contract. The contractor is responsible for the selection, engagement, supervision, performance and payment of all subcontractors in accordance with the contract. Subcontractors do not include any firms or persons directly engaged and paid by the owner for work outside the contract. These are separate contracts.

Sustainable development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Tender: A proposal, with costs, to carry out a piece of work.

Target Outturn Cost (TOC): The TOC represents an agreement of the contractual cost to achieve the agreed project outcomes. It must show value for money and be reflective of key project assumptions and risks. Agreeing the TOC requires active participation by all participants in the alliance as there is a natural tension between the owner wanting to ensure they have lowest reasonable cost and the Non-Owner Participants (NOP) wanting to minimise their risk exposure and provide opportunity for cost savings.

Value for Money (VFM): When the client and end-users receive from their investment the levels of performance and design quality required from their investment, at lowest total whole-of life cost.

Variation: In a construction context, a variation is a change to the project from what a contractor was obliged to deliver as part of the contracted documents. These changes could be for a number of reasons- unforeseen site conditions, the change in client brief.

Vision Statement: A simple statement of main objectives. Required for early consensus to start the feasibility and budget checks and as a constant reference point throughout the project.

Whole-of-life (for lifetime or lifecycle) costs: The costs over the 30 to 60-year lifetime of the building or project. This includes running and maintenance costs and the costs for people working there.


Acumen, Practice Advice for Architects, Australian Institute of Architects, 2012.

A Guide to Competitive Quality Based Selection of Architects, International Union of Architects and Australian Institute of Architects.

Better Public Buildings – A Proud Legacy, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), October 2000.

Business Case, Investment Management Guideline, Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria.

Client Policy Choices: Designing Project Delivery Strategies – August 2010, Australian Procurement and Construction Council Australian Construction Industry Forum.

Construction Industry Terminology, Standen, D. RAIA Practice Services 1993.

Creating excellent buildings; A guide for clients, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, January 2011.

Creating Places for People: an urban design Protocol for Australian cities, November 2011.

Department of Treasury and Finance, 2013 – 14 Budget Paper No. 1, Treasurer’s Speech.

Design Champions, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).

Good Design & Transport, Office of the Victorian Government Architect, July 2009.

Good Design Guide, Government of Western Australia, Department of Finance, Office of the Government Architect, 2013.

Improving Standards of Design in the Procurement of Public Buildings, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, September 2002.

Investment Lifecycle Guidelines Supplementary Guidance, #1 Procurement Strategy Guideline, Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria, 2007.

Living with Risk’: Promoting better public space design, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, (CABE), May 2007.

National Alliance Contracting Guidelines; Guide to Alliance Contracting, Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure and Transport, July 2011.

National Public Private Partnership Guidelines, Volume 2: Practitioners’ Guide, Infrastructure Australia, 2008.

Partnerships Victoria Requirements, Department of Treasury and Finance, May 2013.

Perceptions of architectural design and project risk: understanding the architects’ role in a PPP project, P. Raisbeck, Construction Management and Economics (November 2008) 26, 1145–1157.

Policy for Alliance Contracting, State of Victoria, July 2010.

Procurement policy, Building teams – achieving value, Royal Institute of British Architects, November 2001.

Procuring innovative architecture, van Schaik, L., London, G. George, B. 2010.

Projects as Wealth Creators, Property Council of Australia, 2001.

Pursuing Design Quality for Public Infrastructure, Office of the Western Australia Government Architect, September 2011.

Smart PFI: RIBA Position Paper, Royal Institute of British Architects, December 2006.

The cost of bad design, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), June 2006.

The long term cost of owning and engineering buildings, Raymond Evans, Richard Haryott, Norman Haste, and Alan Jones, (1998) London, Royal Academy of Engineering.

The Value of Good Design, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), November 2002.

You and Your Architect, RAIA Practice Services.


The following government departments and peak industry bodies offered valuable feedback in the development of these guidelines:

  • ACT Government Architect
  • Association of Consulting Architects Australia
  • Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter
  • City of Port Phillip
  • Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Human Services (Housing and Community Building)
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Planning and Community Development
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Transport
  • Department of Treasury and Finance
  • Major Projects Victoria
  • New South Wales Government Architect’s Office
  • Northern Territory Government Architect’s Office
  • Parks Victoria
  • Places Victoria
  • Queensland Government Architect
  • South Australian Government Architect
  • VicRoads
  • VicTrack
  • Western Australian Government Architect

Reviewed 21 April 2020

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