Guidance

The Green Book: appraisal and evaluation in central government

HM Treasury guidance on how to appraise and evaluate policies, projects and programmes.

Documents

The Green Book

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Checklist for assessing business cases

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A short 'plain English' guide to assessing business cases

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Social Discount Rates for Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Report for HM Treasury

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Details

The Green Book is guidance issued by HM Treasury on how to appraise policies, programmes and projects. It also provides guidance on the design and use of monitoring and evaluation before, during and after implementation.

Read the refreshed guidance for the Treasury’s approvals process for programmes and projects.

Read the cost benefit analysis guidance for local partnerships published on 2 April 2014.

There is a wide range of supplementary Green Book guidance giving more information on particular issues and on applying the Green Book in specific contexts - for example, valuing environmental effects and assessing competition effects. These are:

Spending proposals and business cases

All public spending proposals should be accompanied by a properly developed and structured business case using the Treasury ‘five case model’ and the supplementary Green Book guidance on development and assessment of business cases.

Regulatory proposals and impact assessments

Regulatory impact assessment is usually required for all proposed UK government regulatory changes.

The appraisal of value needed to ascertain the effects of the proposal is sometimes referred to as the impact of the proposal and is conducted according to Green Book guidance.

The decision process for progressing regulatory proposals is subject to guidance from the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills who are responsible for the Impact Assessment process (templates, guidance etc).

Social Discount Rates for Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Report for HM Treasury

This document summarises the key theoretical and empirical evidence on social discounting that has emerged since the Green Book of 2003.

The views displayed in this document are those of the authors and do not reflect those of HM Treasury.

Previous editions of the Green Book

The previous 2003 edition of Green Book guidance is now withdrawn. For purposes of academic study and public information it may be found on the National Archives website.

Published 18 April 2013
Last updated 6 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. New version of the Green Book published, as well as accompanying academic paper.
  2. Link to new guidance on Treasury approvals for programmes and projects added.
  3. Updated better business cases guidance published
  4. updated 'Access to training and accreditation in best practice business cases' publication
  5. Public sector business cases using the five case model: templates file (.doc) replaced (with (.odt)
  6. 'Agile digital and IT projects: clarification of business case guidance' published
  7. Updated guidance on public sector business cases using the 'five case model' published
  8. First published.