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When is BBC required?

The Treasury advocates the BBC framework for all types of business cases, regardless of who has the decision rights.

In the State Sector

Cabinet Circular CO (15) 5. "Investment Management and Asset Performance in the State Services", focuses on capital expenditure, asset disposals, lease arrangements, and "as a service" investments.

The Circular requires the use of the Treasury business case guidance for all significant investment proposals from relevant state sector agencies[1]. The circular defines a significant investment, proposal or decision as one having a high degree of importance in terms of its likely impact on, and likely consequences for:

  • The Crown or the agency or sector, customers or clients, or the capacity of State services agencies to perform their functions
  • The government’s fiscal strategy
  • The government’s investment strategy

In terms of financial or risk thresholds, significant generally means investments that require Cabinet or Ministerial approval as per Annex 1 of Cabinet Circular CO (15)5 that is, high risk proposals, or proposals with whole of life costs (WOLC) in excess of $15 million, however funded.

All such business cases should be sent to the relevant Treasury Vote Analyst and to:

Chief Executives are to ensure agencies adopt and apply as good management practice corporate centre guidance on investment management, including business cases.

Boards are expected to adopt and apply as good management practice corporate centre guidance on investment management, including business cases.

For a given agency or sector, the thresholds for significance may vary according to decisions made through the application of the investor confidence rating. Please refer below

Relationship with policy decisions

Where an investment decision is required in support of a policy decision, the reviewer should be engaged at the earliest possible time, as set out in the BBC guidance. This will ensure the approach to the policy and investment decision is fit for purpose.

The approach to the business case will depend on whether it is to augment a Regulatory Impact Analysis, therefore to assist in informing the policy decision, or to support a policy decision that has already been made.

If the policy decision has been made much of the Strategic Case and elements of the Economic Case will already be incorporated into the policy decision and will not need to be revisited through the business case, a summary will likely suffice.  The business case should focus instead on validating the Strategic Case, completing the Economic case and developing the Commercial, Financial and Management Cases. The Strategic and Economic Case can be fully worked up if there is a desire by the Senior Responsible Owner (ie, Sponsor) or Reviewer to either challenge or validate the policy.

Alternative procurements

Agencies that are planning any significant investments (including any arrangements with Local Government Authorities seeking Crown funding or support) should evaluate all procurement options, including considering the use of Public Private Partnerships where appropriate and consistent with Government policy. Note that the current government (2017-2020) does not support the continued use of PPPs in the health and education sectors.

Pathway of phased BBC process


  • [1] All departments (including departmental agencies) as defined by the Public Finance Act 1989 (PFA);1.2 the following types of Crown entities: Crown agents; Autonomous Crown entities; Independent Crown entities; Crown entity companies, including Crown Research Institutes; and companies listed on Schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act (PFA).
Last updated: 
Tuesday, 21 February 2017