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The Public Spending Code

Published: 8 May 2019
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

All Irish public bodies are obliged to treat public funds with care, and to ensure that the best possible value for money is obtained whenever public money is being spent or invested.

The Public Spending Code is the set of rules and procedures that ensure that these standards are upheld across the Irish public service. In September 2013, Departments and Offices were formally notified by circular that the Public Spending Code is in effect. In July 2019 it was updated with this circular , which updated the central technical references and economic appraisal parameters in the Spending Code. In December 2019, this circular updated the Public Spending Code as it applies to capital expenditure, updated the Guidelines for the use of PPPs and consolidated the Public Spending Code guidance on this website.

What Guidance Do I Need?

Public Spending Code: Central Guidance

Public Spending Code : A Guide to Evaluating. Planning and Managing Public Investment

This Guide sets out the value for money requirements for the evaluation, planning and management of public investment projects in Ireland. Published in December 2019, it sets out the roles and responsibilities for Sponsoring Agencies and Approving Authorities and provides detail on the requirements at each stage of the project lifecycle.


Guidelines for Evaluating Planning and Managing Current Expenditure

This guidance sets out the ex ante requirements before new Current expenditure programmes are undertaken by the Sponsoring Agency or approved by the Approving Authority, or before extensions to existing current expenditure programmes are approved.


Guidelines for the use of Public Private Partnerships

The 2006 Public Private Partnership (PPP) guidance has been revised to better reflect evolving good practice, to ensure alignment with the provisions of the Public Spending Code, and to introduce certain new and updated provisions including changes to the Public Sector Benchmark and clarification on the Value for Money Comparison exercise.


Public Spending Code: Technical Guidance Series

Public Spending Code: Quality Assurance Process

The PSC Quality assurance process is a tool to assist Departments and agencies in the more efficient management of public investment through review of past practice as a means to improvement in the future. This guidance document sets out the main elements of the PSC quality assurance process and the steps to be taken in carrying out the annual quality reporting requirement of the PSC


Regulatory Impact Analysis Guidelines

This guidance document sets out the rational for Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) and is intended to provide assistance to officials conducting RIAs. Regulatory Impact Analysis is a tool used for the structured exploration of different options to address particular policy issues.


Value for Money Review and Focused Policy Assessment Guidelines

This document sets out guidance on two of the evaluation methodologies used across the civil service; namely Value for Money Review (VFMRs) and Focused Policy Assessments (FPAs). This guidance document introduces the main elements involved in undertaking a VFMR or an FPA including the steps to be taken and the various analytical approaches on offer to the review team.


Overview of Appraisal Methods and Techniques

This document outlines the main appraisal methods and techniques which should be used as part of the Public Spending Code. It provides a brief introduction to each technique and contains reference material at the end of the document.


Carrying out a Financial Analysis

This document provides a high level guide to carrying out a financial analysis. It will be will be updated to reflect the Public Spending Code Guide to Evaluating, Planning and Managing Public Investment December 2019.


A Guide to Economic Appraisal: Carrying out a Cost Benefit Analysis

This document provides an introductory guide to cost benefit analysis (CBA). It sets out the aims and principles of CBA and highlights the main technical issues in estimating costs and benefits.


Central Technical References and Economic Appraisal Parameters

This document sets out the key central technical references and parameter values for use in financial and economic appraisal. The parameter values apply to all economic appraisals and evaluations undertaken in compliance with the Public Spending Code, and should be used by government departments and State agencies undertaking economic appraisals.


Public Spending Code Supplementary Guidance - Measuring & Valuing Changes in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Economic Appraisals

These guidelines provide further assistance in calculating and valuing greenhouse gas emissions when performing a policy appraisal.