Business case approval process

The Ministry's Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer reviews and endorses all business cases for health IT investment over $500,000 submitted by the Ministry of Health, district health boards (DHBs), and subsidiaries of the Ministry and DHBs.


Investment in health IT systems and improvements need to be aligned closely with the requirements of the Ministry's Digital Health 2020 work programme and the NZ Health Strategy Update. This will ensure strategic alignment with overall health and disability sector strategy and programmes, greater interoperability through a consistent set of solutions, and sustainability through economies of scale.

Investment decisions will be reviewed and particular attention paid to strategic alignment (value for money), stakeholder engagement, governance, IT delivery capability and benefits realisation.

After the business case has been endorsed, it is submitted to the appropriate authority for approval depending on the overall capital value of the investment required:

  • the Director-General of Health, for projects between $500,000 and $3 million capital
  • the Minister of Health, for projects over $3 million and less than $10 million capital
  • Capital Investment Committee (CIC) and joint Ministers of Health and Finance, for projects over $10 million capital
  • Cabinet for projects over $25 million Whole of Life Cost.

This investment review is in addition to the wider Ministry of Health and government capital and policy approval processes. The CIC notes all business cases with a capital expenditure between $3 million and $10 million.

Process review

Reviewing and endorsing health IT business cases was previously done by the National Health IT Board (NHITB) as directed by the Minister of Health. This applied to all business cases for IT investment over $500,000 submitted by the Ministry of Health, district health boards (DHBs), and subsidiaries of the Ministry and DHBs. 

This process is currently under review following the disestablishment of the NHITB. In the interim, the Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer is fulfilling the function of the NHITB to endorse health IT business cases.

Once the business case is endorsed, it is then approved by the appropriate delegated financial authority – either the Director-General of Health, Minister of Health, Joint Ministers of Health and Finance, or Cabinet.

These guidelines provide information to business case owners who will need to go through the review and approval processes.  It provides further information on:

  • the necessary steps in the review and approval process
  • the review criteria for business cases
  • ongoing reporting and monitoring requirements.

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