Option Appraisal: A Practical Guide for Public Service Organisations (2017 Edition) (Online)

Option Appraisal: A Practical Guide for Public Service Organisations


This guide provides finance professionals, and others serving in public service organisations, with an insight into the skills and techniques that will allow them to design and undertake rigorous option appraisals.







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Option appraisal is about making informed choices and better decisions. And nowhere is this more important than within public service organisations, as the choices these organisations make dictate how public funds are spent and impact on how people live their lives.

This guide covers topics including:

  • an introduction to option appraisal, including what it is and how it works, when an option appraisal should be undertaken and what it should cover
  • an overview of the option appraisal process, including the importance of being clear about what the organisation wishes to achieve, the identification of options, the use of long and short lists, and the application of appraisal techniques to identify a preferred option
  • an exploration of financial appraisal techniques, including the identification and evaluation of cash flows and the consideration of the affordability of different options
  • a discussion of non-financial appraisal techniques, including economic appraisal, cost benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis, and impact assessments
  • consideration of other issues relevant to option appraisal, including risk, sensitivity analysis, optimism bias, peer review, and post-implementation review
  • an overview of how to report the results of the option appraisal, including the importance of early consideration of reporting, the principles of good reporting, and the topics that the report should cover.

This guide is an essential text for anyone involved in the preparation of option appraisals in public service organisations.

It will also be of significant benefit to senior managers and others whose roles encompass the development of financial literacy and robust business processes across the organisation.

This publication is only available online.

The digital, online version is available as both searchable HTML and a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation.

Customers will need to register and login to CIPFA's website to access the publication. Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA's Publications Department.

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).