The HM Treasury Green Book is crucial for the best practice appraisal and evaluation of UK Government expenditure, but for many areas, such as transport, skills, housing as well as some types of local and regional infrastructure, it would be better for decisions to be taken at a local level by locally elected politicians and their officers.
This is according to a new paper, ‘Levelling up’ and revising the Green Book: Where Next?' by Arup.
In December 2019, the new UK Government brought with it a promise to ‘level up’ the economy, drawing into focus the long standing tension between attempting to maximise economic growth at an aggregate national and regional level, versus responding to a broader set of objectives concerned with challenges such as inequality.
A focus of the debate has been the framework under which government departments make investment decisions – the HM Treasury Green Book, which sets out the rules for project appraisal, influencing which projects are granted public funding. There have been calls for fundamental changes to its methodology and in response, this paper seeks to explore potential improvements in how both the content and the use of the Green Book may help with the “levelling up” agenda.