Capital Works Evaluation Framework

A Capital Works Evaluation Framework is a system used to assist in prioritising projects for consideration within an organisation's Capital Works Program.

A Capital Works Evaluation Framework will typically include one or more of the following features:

  • A list of criteria and/or questions
  • A scoring system
  • Weightings
  • Guidelines & examples
  • Evalution teams


The core of a Capital Works Evaluation Framework is typically a list of questions designed to assess the relative merits of competing projects. The questions below have been extracted from various sources including the Shire of Indigo Capital Works Prioritisation & Appraisal Sheet, and may be a good starting point in developing a Capital Works Evalution Framework.

  1. Is the project required to reduce or eliminate a hazard or address safety issues that may otherwise present legal implications to council?
  2. Have there been changes in the law requiring changes to the council service/ asset?
  3. Is the project needed to remedy the effects of accident, infrastructure failure or natural disaster?
  4. Has external funding become available with limited time for expensing or is the same likely to become available in the near term (ie scope to seize the moment with limited impact on ratepayers)?
  5. Is the project subject to carryover expenditure, existing contractual obligations or has there been a specific council resolution to fund within the appointed year?
  6. Is the project a renewal of an existing asset?
  7. Is the majority of funding for the project from sources other than council?
  8. Once the project is completed, will there be minimal or no ongoing maintenance cost?
  9. Is there a cost risk of not proceeding with this project?
  10. Will there be an impact on future budgets by completing this project?
  11. Does the project assist Council meet its vision of being a great place to live, work and visit?
  12. Is the project specifically identified in the Council Strategic Plan or other sub-ordinate Council strategy?
  13. Does the project improve the level of service provision?
  14. Does the project improve environmental outcomes such as; reduced greenhouse emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, resource use or waste generation?
  15. Have scheduled maintenance reports identified the need?
  16. Is the project listed in an approved asset management plan?
  17. Is there an approved business case associated with this project?
  18. Will the project lead to improved public health and safety?
  19. Will the project result in reduced asset lifecycle costs?
  20. Does Council have the capacity (internal or external) to carry out the project?

Scoring System

The answers to questions need to be quantified before they can be used to prioritise a list of projects. The simplest scoring system possible is Yes = 1 and No = 0.

Alternatively a range of scores can be allowed. Townsville City Council for example uses a 0 to 5 scoring system.


Allowing a wide range of scores reduces the likelyhood of a large number of projects receiving the same score, but introduces more scope for scores being assigned inconsistently.


All criteria are not equal. A legislated responsibility for example would typically carry more weight than most other criteria. Raw scores are therefore sometimes adjusted with different multipliers depending on the criteria or question.

Guidelines and examples

Capital Works Evaluation Frameworks typically include guidelines about how to assign as score and concrete examples to help the person or team score projects consistently.

Evaluation Teams

If it is left for the project nominator to score a project it is possible that they will attempt to score it very favourably. To reduce the possiblity of intentionally or unintentional bias some frameworks call for evaluation teams to assess each project. The City of Townsville framework for instance notes that projects are to be rated by 4 expert teams.

Related Pages

External Links & References

  1. Google Search
  2. Bang the Table Budget Allocator
  3. Indigo Shire - Capital Works Prioritisation & Appraisal Sheet
  4. Townsville City Council Capital Investment Process. (Includes prioritisation schemas.)
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