This page is part of our decision support tool.

DST - stage 1
DST – stage 1

Ministers formulate the government’s policy intent. The first expression of a policy intent can take a number of forms, such as:

  • an output of a government spending review
  • a white paper
  • a statutory instrument
  • the results of an internal inquiry or review
  • a governmental response to an external inquiry or review
  • a decision by a departmental minister
  • a decision by a cabinet committee.

This DST is concerned with financial relationships. So a policy intent that is relevant to this DST will take the following broad form: ‘There will be a programme of government expenditure of £X to achieve government objective Y’.

You need to know what the policy intent is. You may wish to clarify the policy intent [Footnote 1]. But you must not make or change policy intent; only ministers may do that.

The DST does not apply only to new government programmes. You can also use it to review and improve the design of the financial models for existing programmes.


  1. See also Stage 2 (a) Establish specific purpose

Table of contents

Decision support tool: Table of contents

Previous page

The design process

Next page

Stage 2. Strategic decisions