Deposit return scheme - gateway review: action plan assurance

Assurance of action plan for the deposit return scheme gateway review.

1.0 Conclusion

Delivery Confidence Assessment: AMBER

This Assurance of Action Plan finds that whilst still retaining significant challenges and threats, the DRS Programme has gained increased momentum and is in a much-improved position than at the last Gateway Review, carried out in May 2022.

It is now recognised and accepted that a fully/wholly functioning scheme is not [redacted] required, for the 16 August 2023 target. Consequently, successful delivery of a sufficiently functioning scheme appears feasible for this date, with some degree of subsequent evolution. Accordingly, this Programme is now assessed with a delivery confidence of Amber, albeit whilst retaining significant challenges that need prompt resolution.

Further, and 'at-pace', attention is required to resolve pressing issues and, most importantly, to sustain the improved momentum. These issues include, but are not limited to: VAT, on-line takeback, cut-over, the operational plan and retailer exemptions. In particular, greater clarity, agreement and, importantly, action, on exemptions is required to allay the concerns of small retailers and to enable conclusion of modelling of the national return-point network. This will enable Scheme costs to be determined with greater confidence [redacted]. Leadership and governance of the Programme is still evolving, and whilst improved, still requires further attention. Deriving from this, communications are improving and plans are in-place for more clear leadership from CSL (incumbent not yet in post). The central aim and purpose of DRS is to effect societal change, consequently, this Review still considers that the success of the collective communication and engagement activity is the central key to DRS being a successful programme; significant resource and effort invested here is unlikely to be wasted.

The Delivery Confidence Assessment RAG status should use the definitions below.


Successful delivery of the project to time, cost and quality appears highly likely and there are no major outstanding issues that at this stage appear to threaten delivery.


Successful delivery appears probable. However, constant attention will be needed to ensure risks do not materialise into major issues threatening delivery.


Successful delivery appears feasible but significant issues already exist requiring management attention. These appear resolvable at this stage and, if addressed promptly, should not present a cost/schedule overrun.


Successful delivery of the project is in doubt with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas. Urgent action is needed to ensure these are addressed and establish whether resolution is feasible.


Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues which, at this stage, do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-base lining and/or overall viability re-assessed.



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