Member blog article from Real Asset Management.

All local government authorities will have the new CIPFA regulations for transport infrastructure assets in the back of their mind as the new requirements are set to come into play by March 2015.

But are all local government organisations ready? The answer is almost definitely no.

By March 2015 all local authorities responsible for highways will need to comply with the new guidelines, without exception. Transport & Infrastructure Assets can cover anything from a street lamp to a layer of the highway and for larger Authorities the amount of transport & infrastructure assets on the register can be huge. This asset register may currently be looked after by highways and estates teams which are simply unable to supply the financial reporting data that is needed under the new CIPFA guidelines.

The latest code of practice is designed to:

  • Use a whole-life, cost-based approach to highways maintenance, underpinned by lifecycle planning.
  • Help authorities to model and understand the consequences of different maintenance strategies and standards of service.
  • Support long-term financial planning and budgeting, including corporate capital planning and the operation of the Prudential Code.
  • Support performance assessment, benchmarking and better procurement.
  • Provide detailed information on the cost of individual maintenance activities that can be used to drive down the cost base and to monitor whether treatments deliver the expected performance
  • Provide a simplified approach to the calculation of gross asset value.

Local government organisations need to start thinking about how they can manage their Transport Infrastructure Assets effectively whilst still being compliant. So before they start panicking about the new guidelines and how they are going to comply they should take a look at these top tips to help get them started.

  1. Take the time to fully understand the infrastructure assets that the finance team will be responsible for reporting under the new guidelines. It always helps to know what you are dealing with.
  2. Select an appropriate location to store the data that will provide the necessary reports for the Whole of Government Accounts.
  3. Prepare the data in a flexible form that can be easily combined with a compliant highways solution. This will make the integration of any other systems a lot easier in the long term.
  4. And the most important one of all – plan ahead!

The new CIPFA regulations don’t have to be daunting and with the right planning and systems in place local government organisations can move over to the new reporting standards seamlessly.

Real Asset Management