Hospitals, schools, public housing, roads, bridges, buses and trains are just some of the assets used by government in providing services to citizens.
The NSW Government’s asset base is impressive in size - with a value of around $167 billion and with government plans to spend around $8 billion acquiring or replacing assets in the current year. Another $2 billion is spent each year on maintenance.
Good asset management is very important to government; even a small efficiency gain in this area can provide significant returns. Good practice by those responsible for managing assets can improve reliability, extend asset life, save on maintenance costs and aid in identifying and disposing of unnecessary or non-performing assets.
Improving the NSW public sector’s approach to asset management has been on the reform agenda for at least a decade. Changes in practice have been accelerated more recently by integrating asset management policy with the budget process.
In this audit we examined NSW Treasury’s efforts to improve asset management practices in the public sector and the progress made by 3 agencies - the Department of Corrective Services, NSW Fire Brigades and the Powerhouse Museum - towards better managing their asset portfolios.
This report informs Parliament and the community on progress to date and what more needs to be done to ensure that agencies manage assets effectively and achieve best value.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #143 - released 12 October 2005