Benchmarking Best Practice in Asset Management - SA Department of Environment and Heritage 1997


A Report to the ANZECC Working Group on National Park and Protected Area Management
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Australia 1997

About this document

In 1995, ANZECC commenced the National Benchmarking and Best Practice Program aimed at five key areas. The Department of Environment & Natural Resources, South Australia took the lead responsibility for determining the best practice framework for Capital Works management. A working group was formed with all States and Territories represented and a project brief developed and endorsed.

In November 1995 the ANZECC working group met in Melbourne and a decision, subsequently endorsed by ANZECC executive, changed the scope of the project from Capital Works management to asset management. The working group contained its research, and consequently this report, to constructed assets which excludes natural assets and plant & equipment.

It was generally agreed that all ANZECC partners were only beginning to recognise asset management as an essential tool to manage core business. Consequently, development of policy frameworks and processes are in the earliest stage. This status was not restricted to ANZECC partners, but also to other Private and Public organisations. This factor has restricted the ability of the group to specifically identify 'best practice' organisations, but the report does provide the foundation for a best practice asset management regime.

The fixed assets of State and Territory Government make up the social and economic infrastructure which enable the provision of services to the public and to business. These assets play a vital role in the economy and in the quality of life of Australians. A key requirement is to secure a sustainable increase in public sector efficiency in the provision and management of infrastructure and other fixed assets.

Conservation and environment management agencies are responsible for a major proportion of Australia's natural assets which are supported by a significant level of support infrastructure. The assets may be natural resources, building resources, land, plant & equipment, heritage and cultural assets or any other form of infrastructure.

Traditional Government have developed infrastructure without due planning and evaluation for the life cycle management of such infrastructure. Maintenance and replacement programs were not formulated or adequately funded, and risk management, particularly public liability, was not a core activity in asset management.

Asset management is a process to manage demand and guide acquisition, use and disposal of assets to make the most of their service delivery potential, and mange risk and cost over their entire life.

Strategic asset management provides the mechanism for appropriate assets to operate efficiently for effective service delivery and consequently enable agencies to meet their strategic objectives.