The Investment Management System (IMS) sets out the policies, processes and requirements to support agencies to plan and deliver investments and fully realise the resulting benefits.
The IMS is part of the Public Finance System and applies to every public sector investment undertaken by the following agencies as defined in Cabinet Office circular CO (23) 9: Investment management and asset performance in departments and other entities:
- departments (including departmental agencies) as defined by the Public Finance Act 1989 (PFA)
- the following types of Crown entities as defined in the Crown Entities Act 2004:
- Statutory entities
- Crown entity companies
- Crown entity subsidiaries; and
- companies listed on schedule 4A of the PFA
Find out detailed information about the roles of different organisations and the rules of the IMS (including CO (23) 9).
The investment life cycle
The investment life cycle gives agencies a way to navigate the IMS by setting out what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and who is accountable.
Successful use of the life cycle will:
- allow the Minister of Finance and Cabinet to understand clearly how investments are tracking, from investment intentions to successful project and benefit delivery
- provide a common, clear approach so agencies and system leads can focus on substantive investment thinking and risks rather than determining process
- enable investments to be developed, delivered, and assured appropriately for their scale and risk
- provide a consistent basis for reporting and monitoring across the system.
There are four distinct phases in the investment life cycle:
The investment intentions phase provides Ministers with visibility of agency investment categories or needs (not necessarily specific projects or investments) in the medium to long term.
The planning phase is when agencies seek engagement from Ministers or Cabinet on the strategic alignment, case for investment; options for investment; the preferred solution, the approach to delivery, approval for funding (if new funding is needed) and confirmation to commence delivery.
The Investment delivery phase is when agencies produce the expected capability, asset or business change (or both) within the agreed parameters of the business case, including time, budget and scope.
The Investment realisation phase is when the expected benefits and outcomes from the investment are achieved. Agencies will capture key themes and lessons to help influence future investment decisions.
Select the links below for more detailed information about each of the products we administer in the IMS. We do link to the detailed explanations within each of the investment life cycle pages above.
- Gateway Reviews: Gateway offers a level of assurance to increase confidence in investment decisions.
- Better Business Cases: The Better Business Case framework provides a consistent approach for engaging decision-makers, including Ministers and Cabinet and seeking decisions needed (including funding decisions).
- Investment reporting: We report on information from across agencies within scope of CO (23) 9 to maintain an overview of the Government investment portfolio across the investment lifecycle.
- Cabinet Office Circular (23) 9