4.9 ASSET MANAGEMENT All councils in Queensland are obliged to have long- term asset management plans and asset registers (see section 104 of the Local Government Act 2009 ). It is entirely reasonable for Ipswich residents and ratepayers to expect that your council has up-to-date asset management plans in place, and these are linked to the council’s long-term financial plan so that the planned asset maintenance and replacement work can be funded. BEFORE ADMINISTRATION Your council previously relied on the experience and knowledge of a select number of its staff to manage projects’ and maintain infrastructure assets without the formal key governance documentation normally associated with infrastructure best practice asset management. Systems included various spreadsheets and proprietary software adopted for specific purposes within various professional fields such as maintenance, condition assessment, property services and project management. There was no comprehensive or coordinated approach to asset management across the organisation. Overall, your former council had little appreciation of the overall status of asset conditions across the local government area and was therefore unable to determine whether the budgeted expenditure on asset maintenance and replacement was sufficient to meet the actual needs. A policy, strategy and framework; the Strategic Asset Management Framework; Four Asset Management Plans , one for each local government asset class: • Roads and transport • Drainage and flood mitigation Systems requirement documentation; the foundation from which council can evaluate market response to its procurement of a whole-of-council electronic asset management system; The appointment of a project manager to oversee the project, and a consultant with experience in developing Asset Management Plans to assist in the complex delivery of the four plans; • Buildings and facilities • Parks and recreation WHAT WE DID The Transformation Project team delivered:
Development of a leading practice asset management framework, with the procurement of an integrated electronic asset management system still to be determined; Service levels were adopted for all asset classes, with clear maintenance standards and guidelines established to improve forward planning, budgeting, and investment timing – long-term financial planning for roads and transport, drainage and flood mitigation, parks and recreation, and buildings and facilities; and A platform to manage and optimise council’s workforce planning resources was created. The work was delivered in response to a Queensland Audit Office report to parliament and a project plan which was drawn in consultation between members of the management team, including staff from various divisions across the organisation. NOW Council now has a robust and well-established framework to enable appropriate decisions to be made for all asset management activities. The next step is to identify and implement an integrated electronic asset management system which could require a further three years before it is completely in place. The community can now expect council resources (staffing, equipment and funding) to be allocated effectively to asset maintenance and replacement through the Strategic Asset Management Framework and Asset Management Plans. Council staff are expected to be in a position to make better-informed decisions that benefit the city through the implementation of an integrated management system across the whole organisation. The incoming mayor and councillors can expect to be provided with a robust and contemporary Asset Management Framework, with some work still to do in terms of implementing an integrated electronic asset management system.