The DfT is working out how to respond to the Treasury Review of the Green Book – TPS and other professional bodies are following up their joint work with a follow up meeting planned for January.  They have strongly supported the Treasury’s call for major reforms, including a far greater emphasis on the Strategic Case and using it as a filter to ensure better alignment between the schemes which are promoted and social objectives.  BCRs would be less important, but schemes which do not meet clear objectives would be eliminated at this stage and not go forward to economic assessment in any case.  The initial response to the Treasury can be found here, and a follow up discussion by Keith Buchan and Phil Goodwin can be found here.

Meanwhile DfT is consulting on the length of appraisal time periods – currently up to 60 years.  This raises the thorny issue of discounting – reducing future costs and benefits to present day values.  This sounds obscure but has a major impact on any cost benefit analysis.  In the past it has worked in favour of elements such as time savings, and against environmental impacts, in particular climate change. 

The consultation ends on 15th January and TPS is drafting a response.  An outline is available here. We are gathering views from members in addition to the annual survey which has an ongoing section on appraisal issues and how far members think it needs reform.  The Policy group would like to hear from any members who have practical experience to contribute.  In view of the timescale and the holiday period please send them direct to Keith Buchan, who is co-ordinating the TPS response at skills@tps.org.uk.

 

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