Better Business CasesTM For Government Spending Plans

By  Jawwad Tanvir, BBC Consultant and Trainer

The UK government is set to spend record amounts of money to tackle post COVID 19 economic turmoil. The first tranche of £5bn towards this spending involves funds for hospitals, roads, new schools, housing, prisons, shovel ready local projects in England, parks high street and transport 1. This is a classic example of how PESTLE (Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legislative and Economical) factors dictate policies and strategies of governments and organisations.


Better Business CasesTM (BBC) best practice (jointly owned by HM Treasury & The Welsh Government) is a very helpful enabler. It’s architects Joe Flanagan and Joseph Lowe have done a marvellous job and adhering to the guidance will ensure that programmes and projects focus on Business Needs NOT spending sprees. COVID 19 is a classic & extreme example of external non systemic risk. Adherence to the BBC guidance could save millions of £s while ensuring that Spending Objectives are met and Value for Money is realised.

  1. Strategic case: to align with overarching programmes, policies & strategies.
  2. Economic case: to identify business needs, spending objectives, critical success factors & justify value for money.
  3. Commercial case: to ensure long term benefits for the commissioning entity and attractiveness for the suppliers.
  4. Financial case: to ensure that funding is in place and sources of finding are liquid, available and informed. It is imperative to assess a Public Sector Comparator during financial appraisals if private equity is to be used.
  5. Management case: to ensure that best practices are identified and deployed for the management of programmes, projects, change, risks & benefits.

The Better Business Cases guidance is already being used by the UK & Welsh Governments, the New Zealand Treasury, State of Guernsey & Australian Government. It is equally useful for professionals involved in providing specialist services to Government departments e.g. accountants & consultants.

Private organisations can benefit from BBC best practice by applying its principles to their organisations with slight tailoring and understanding the basis of procurement decisions within government departments. It is, indeed, a perfect gift, for Government and private organisations alike, to make progress amid the VUCA 2 that we are living through.


As experts with experience of using, teaching and consulting on the BBC 5 case guidance CUPE International can provide trusted advice.




2 VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.