A road operator or road authority's assets will consist of:
Considerable investment is needed to maintain these assets. Failure to maintain and update the hardware assets may lead to road safety issues. Failure to retain records may lead to abortive expenditure or even litigation should some disaster occur.
An authority must appreciate the benefits and accept the need to introduce asset management planning and direct sufficient resources to the process. To succeed, it is necessary for Chief Executives, Technical, Corporate and Service Directors to contribute positively to the process.
Consideration of the value of assets held and their potential contribution to improved service delivery must be a high priority, along with their effective, efficient and economical management. This will necessitate the introduction of strategic asset management planning. The tool to achieve this is the Asset Management Plan.
The Asset Management Plan (AMP) should genuinely challenge what and how services can be improved through more effective asset management. The plan will be a corporate document, which will link to corporate and service objectives.
Systems that will facilitate a two-way information flow between the various planning processes need to be set up.
The key benefits in preparing an AMP include:
These benefits cannot be gained without the allocation of sufficient resources to the AMP process. Lack of attention to the asset management will have a detrimental effect on the quality of service. There is a serious risk of wasting money on assets that are not required to meet service needs or are unnecessarily costly to run. Failure to provide service can arise because equipment is of poor physical quality or there is insufficient data to inform decisions about how best to manage. Poorly defined financial and managerial procedures also cloud accountability.
The key elements of effective asset management planning are:
The adoption of an effective asset management-planning regime has potentially significant resource implications. These include:
Key processes should be linked to the budget cycle.
It is recommended that an AMP should have 5 key parts:
It is further suggested that an Asset Management Plan is prepared on a 5 year cycle, with annual review and updating.