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 apply to ensure that these standards are upheld across the Irish public service. The Code brings together in one place all of the elements of the value-for-money framework that has been in force up to now, updated and reformed in some respects. The Code is maintained on this website under the management of the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit (CEEU) of the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform as a resource for the entire Irish public service. In September 2013, Departments and Offices were formally notified by circular that the Public Spending is in effect.

The Public Spending Code is structured as follows:-

The Introduction sets out the core principles of the Public Spending Code, including the new principle of consultation and participation. As a general working principle, amendments to the Public Spending Code will be subject to peer review by stakeholders. In keeping with this approach, some elements of the Public Spending Code are flagged as “consultative drafts”, and will not be formally in effect until the peer review process has been completed.

Part A of the Code sets out general provisions, which apply in principle to all types of spending at different stages of the project life-cycle. Part A includes a map or overview of the entire Public Spending Code, and is a useful starting point for public service users wishing to know what elements of the Code apply to their work.

Part B of the Code relates to the appraisal and planning of public projects, before expenditure is incurred.

Part C concerns the ongoing management, control and ongoing review / evaluation of expenditure projects and programmes that are underway.

Part D brings together user-friendly guidance material on the analytical techniques that are applied in appraisal of both capital and current expenditure. These elements of the Code deal with basic introductory material, through to more technical and advanced guidance on how the analytical techniques are applied.

Part E is a technical reference section, showing the up-to-date standard parameter values for use in technical analytical techniques. This section also includes a useful glossary of technical terms used throughout the Public Spending Code.

If you have comments or queries regarding the Public Spending Code, or suggestions on how it could be improved, please send them by e-mail to

Public Spending Code – Principles

What’s new in the Code

The Public Spending Code (except D-03) – (Print Version – July 2012)

D03 Guide to economic appraisal CBA (Print Version – July 2012)

To download the complete version of the Public Spending Code please click here.