Business Case Toolkit

A range of templates and supporting materials to improve the development of NSW Government Business Cases.

A business case provides the value proposition to inform a decision maker as to why some kind of action is required. The action can be to address a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.

In practice, the business case is a management tool and a living document, which is developed over time, that provides in one place all the analysis and information required to assess how the proposed project/investment would support government objectives; from what option represents the greatest value for money and ultimately how it will be financed, funded and delivered.

The business case process provides the basis for the continued development of project options, through refinement, comparison, analysis and evaluation, to ensure that the ultimate project represents the greatest value for money solution.

The business case process is a critical element within the NSW Government’s investment decision-making process. All proposed government projects and programs with a capital value over $10m require a formal business case. The attached diagram, highlights the specific process that is required to be undertaken for NSW Government business cases depending on the type of investment as well as its size and complexity.

For a capital infrastructure project registered with Infrastructure NSW, a risk-based assurance process is applied. This means that different levels of assurance and reporting are applied proportionate to a potential risk profile. A Tier 1 project is considered high risk and a tier 4 project is determined to be low risk. The following risk criteria is used to determine the risk profile - Level of Government; Priority; Interface Complexity; Procurement Complexity; Agency Capability; and Essential Service.

Application of Gateway Reviews by risk tier:

  • Tier 1 – High Profile / High Risk projects must pass through all Gates
  • Tier 2 projects must pass Gate 0 (Project Justification), Gate 1 (Strategic Assessment, and Gate 2 (Business Case)
  • Tier 3 projects must pass Gate 0 (Project Justification)
  • Tier 4 projects (lowest risk) do not require Gateway Reviews.

Application of Health Checks by risk tier:

  • Tier 1 – High Profile / High Risk projects compulsory every six months during the project development, procurement stages and delivery stages
  • Tier 2 - compulsory every six months during the project development stage.

A range of material has been developed by the NSW Government to support the efficient and effective delivery of best practice business case documentation. This site includes a range of relevant information that should be used as a first step in undertaking an infrastructure related business case for the NSW Government including relevant Guidelines, Templates and other supporting material.


The NSW Government has established Business Case Guidelines, developed by NSW Treasury, to provide guidance in preparing NSW Government business cases. Business cases, which are prepared according to these guidelines, provide a robust evidence base for government policy and investment proposals. They also inform effective and efficient resource allocation decisions for capital, recurrent and ICT investment and regulatory proposals.

The Guidelines will support the sector’s capacity and capability to deliver investment and policy proposals that are robust, transparent and appropriate to the size, complexity and cost of the intervention. They will strengthen confidence in the government to make sound investment decisions.

All business cases developed for the NSW Government should be undertaken in accordance with the NSW Treasury Business Case and Economic Evaluation Guidelines as well as any applicable Agency Business Case and/or Economic/Financial Evaluation Guidelines.  It is important that all business cases are completed in accordance with those guidelines that are specifically relevant to the individual project.  These Guidelines are presented below.

Treasury Guidelines 

Department of Customer Service

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

NSW Government Procurement Board

Infrastructure Resilience

Place Based Thinking

Infrastructure NSW Guidelines

Infrastructure NSW provides templates to support the development of capital infrastructure business cases.  These templates can be viewed as frameworks to assist stakeholders with the delivery of best practice capital infrastructure business cases and support the underlying projects to go through the Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework gateway review process.

Presented below is a range of report templates that can be utilised to support a project through the development and review process for capital investment projects; from needs confirmation through to Strategic and Final Business Cases.

There may be numerous reasons as to why a department, program or project may wish to alter the generic templates to better inform readers as to the underlying reasoning for a project and support an informed decision-making process.

Any amendments to the presentation of business cases is a decision for the project stakeholder/team as long as the underlying work complies with the aforementioned guidelines and provides all the necessary information to support the gateway review process.

General NSW Government Business Case Templates


 Agency Specific Business Case Templates are available through relevant agency Program Management Offices and / or internal agency finance areas

Practitioner Notes

Practitioner notes have been developed to assist anyone looking to complete a business case. The practitioner note series has been developed in conjunction with a variety of public and private sector stakeholders who provide specialist inputs, management and deliver business cases for the NSW Government.

Each paper has been developed on a key issue that generally needs to be considered as part of the process of completing a business case – from what analysis is required, guidelines to follow, who to engage and the overall process that must be undertaken.  Each of these topics are presented by category are linked to the business case templates.

These notes are intended to provide the reader with an insight into the need, frameworks, guidance and key issues that these specialists take into account when completing specific tasks.

Commencing a Business Case

Core Business Case outputs and analysis

Supporting business case analysis

Business Case project delivery

Each note should be read as an industry discussion paper, from the perspective of the practitioner, and while generally aligned, not specifically NSW Government policy.

Recognition of partners

A number of supporting NSW Government Agencies, private sector firms and individuals were kind enough to provide their time and knowledge in completing material as presented within this section of the INSW website.

We would like to thank and acknowledge their input.


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