Green Book (2003) (PDF 432KB)
The Green Book is HM Treasury guidance for Central Government, setting out a framework for the appraisal and evaluation of all policies, programmes and projects. It sets out the key stages in the development of a proposal from the articulation of the rationale for intervention and the setting of objectives, through to options appraisal and, eventually, implementation and evaluation. It describes how the economic, financial, social and environmental assessments of a proposal should be combined and aims to ensure consistency and transparency in the appraisal process throughout government.
In addition to the overall framework provided by the Green Book, there is a wide range of supplementary guidance
containing more detailed guidance on particular issues and applying the Green Book in specific contexts - for example, valuing environmental impacts, assessing competition impacts, adjusting for risk and optimism bias.
Depending on the type of policy being appraised, the conclusions of the appraisal and the recommendations for decision-makers should be set out in certain documents:
Spending proposals and business cases
All spending proposals should be accompanied by a proportionate and well structured business case. Supplementary to the Green Book is guidance on the creation and assessment of business cases in accordance with HM Treasury’s best-practice 'Five Case Model'.
Regulatory proposals and Impact Assessments
Impact Assessments are generally required for all UK Government interventions of a regulatory nature that affect the private sector, the third sector and public services. Core to an Impact Assessment is an economic assessment of the proposal’s social costs and benefits in accordance with Green Book methodology. The Better Regulation Executive (BRE) of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is responsible for the Impact Assessment process (templates, guidance etc). Further guidance on producing Impact Assessments is available from the BRE through the Green Book website:
What's new on the site?
4 January 2011: New dates added for training courses on writing and assessing public sector business cases. See the Business case guidance section of our website.
If you have any comments or feedback please email the Green Book team.
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