The Public Spending Code

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. The Public Spending Code Website provides central guidance, technical guidance (e.g., A Guide to Economic Appraisal) and tool and guidance for financial appraisal (e.g., Financial Appraisal Guidelines, Template). The Common Appraisal Framework (CAF) provides appraisal guidance to the transport sector.

According to the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform’s circular 06/2023, the Infrastructure Guidelines will supersede the existing Public Spending Code in the near future. In the meantime, the workflow detailed below presents the update on the PSC. Eventually, the NTA Project Approval Guidelines (PAGs) and the Terms of Reference for the NTA Board and Capital Programme Sub-Committee will reflect these changes.

All projects having capital costs over €20M are subject to the review process by the NTA and are required to obtain approval to proceed to the next Decision Gate.


The reader should note that a Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) must be produced and that it is subject to approval where the NTA acts as Approving Authority until further notice when the PAGs and Terms of References are updated.

Common Appraisal Framework

Common Appraisal Framework is a common framework for appraising transport investments in accordance with the Public Spending Code. It is designed to help assist and guide Sponsoring Agencies when developing transport business cases for proposed public investment.

Project Approval Guideline

Project Approval Guideline sets out a consistent and transparent approach across projects undertaken by agencies in receipt of NTA funding. The NTA will appraise the deliverables at the Gateway and the NTA Gateways align with the PSC Decision Gates.


Public Spending Code – Lifecycle and Decision Gates