Step 5: Prioritisation of initiatives and program development

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At a glance

Step 5 involves prioritising the list of proposed initiatives and developing a forward program.

Proposed initiatives arise from four sources:

  • From the objectives-led strategic planning at the front end of the ATAP Framework
  • Agencies operating in other areas of government
  • The private sector
  • Political processes.

Before commencing prioritisation, ensure that each proposed initiative has been subject to the rigorous ATAP Guidelines assessment process, resulting in a documented Business Case. Unsolicited private sector approaches should be subject to an agreed approval process.

An initial broad prioritisation can assist the decision-maker manage the overall prioritisation task. It could involve several categories of priorities (e.g. A, B and C). Jurisdictions may then decide to undertake more detailed prioritisation.

The prioritisation process can make use of the range of information reported in the Business Cases of the proposed initiatives:

  • Results from the Strategic Merit Test (showing alignment with transport system objectives, targets strategies and policies)
  • Results from the cost-benefit analysis (including any non-monetised benefits and costs). The (subjective) influence of any non-monetised benefits and costs on prioritisation should be assessed by the decision-maker.

Where governments have made policy choices on funding splits, account of these will need to be taken in prioritisation and program development. Timing and bundling are also important program development considerations.

If a government intends to contribute financially to private sector initiatives, these should be included as individual initiatives in the prioritisation and program development processes (once their suitability has been assessed).

Development of the forward program is usually an iterative process. Ministers have the final say over the content of the program.