International Asset Management Efforts

Canada: Highway Asset Management Systems

The Transportation Association of Canada released their publication, the Primer on Highway Asset Management Systems. The goal of this publication is to introduce the concepts of asset management, outline its potential benefits, and describe how an asset management system may be successfully planned and implemented.

Canada’s roads, streets and highways are major capital assets that are essential to achieving their social and economic goals. Canada’s assets represent billions of dollars in replacement value alone, and the ongoing cost required to build, maintain and operate the road network are considerable. Asset management can provide a business framework for infrastructure and financial managers to effectively manage their roadway system.

Also see the TAC Final Report: A National Agenda for Technological Research and Development in Road and Intermodal Transportation. Section B addresses the trends, opportunities and needs, as well as specific priority research and development projects related to Canadian asset management.

Source: Highway Asset Management Systems: A Primer, Transportation Association of Canada

Kuwait: Kuwait Infrastructure Maintenance Management System (KIMMS)

Facing an aging infrastructure system and harsh weather conditions, Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works implemented a computerized management system in 1997. The system allows the Ministry to manage their capital and maintenance planning functions more cost effectively. The first steps in this process were to acquire data acquisition equipment and to initiate organizational changes. The KIMMS system uses state of the art technology (including GIS) to identify, prioritize and plan for infrastructure related expenditures.

Source: Kuwait Infrastructure Maintenance Management System (KIMMS), Ministry of Public Works, State of Kuwait

United Kingdom: Corporate Asset Management Process

United Kingdom’s Department for Transport has developed guidelines for the implementation of best practices in Asset Management.

Also see their Modernizing Local Government Capital Finance Paper, Chapter 4 – Encouraging Best Practice in Asset Management. This chapter describes the Government’s efforts to see local government authorities make better use of their infrastructure assets.

Source: United Kingdom, Department of Environment, Transport, and Regions, Beginning and Developing a Corporate Asset Management Process

The Institute of Asset Management [website]

The management of physical assets (their selection, maintenance, inspection and renewal) plays a key role in determining the operational performance and profitability of industries that operate assets as part of their core business. Asset Management is the art and science of making the right decisions and optimising these processes.

The Institute of Asset Management (IAM) is the independent organisation for professionals dedicated to furthering our knowledge and understanding of Asset Management. In particular, we seek to spread good practice and develop decision support tools and techniques.

Australia & New Zealand: Road Network Asset Management [website]

The Australian road system:

There are about 750 road controlling agencies in Australia, with a total road length of 800,000km. Annual spending on operation, maintenance and additions to the road network is about US $4b. Arterial roads comprise 16% of the total length, carry 75% of total travel, and attract 60% of total spending. Per capita, Australia is the world’s most intensive user of road freight, with 6,000 tonne-km per capita per annum. Freight travel in Australia is predicted to double in the next 15 years. The estimated written down value of the Australian road system is about US$80b (excluding land under roads), or approximately US$4,000 per capita.

Australian research and development in road network asset management:

Austroads (the association of Australian and New Zealand road authorities) has the lead role in Australia in improving asset management practice in road networks. The Austroads Asset Management Reference Group (AMRG) plans and manages road network asset management research and development, in close liaison with corresponding work on pavement technology.

Current activity:

The 1997 Austroads “Strategy for Improving Asset Management Practice” lists 38 priority research and development actions for cooperative effort in Australia and New Zealand. Current activity includes development of standard guidelines for road condition measurement, refinement of models to predict road deterioration, accelerated testing and long term monitoring (LTPPM) to support the prediction of works effects, and correlation of road condition measures with community expectations specifically for local roads carrying low volumes of high mass vehicles. Work to improve understanding of the interaction between heavy vehicle loading and pavements is in the early stages.

Status and recent developments:

  • The principles of asset management and pavement management are widely recognized in Australia, and the use of integrated information, predictive and optimizing systems is increasing.
  • Major Australian road agencies began reporting the financial value of their road infrastructure assets in the late 1980s, and since 1997 all major road agencies have recognized road assets in annual financial statements.
  • A protocol is in place to support harmonized modeling of road user costs among road agencies across Australia. The protocol recognizes harmonization as dynamic in nature, and allows for continuous improvement on a coordinated basis.
  • The concept of road hierarchies (fitness for purpose) is entrenched among the major road agencies, and is spreading among smaller road agencies.

Austroads publications which may be of interest include:

  • Austroads, 1994, “Road Asset Management Guidelines” (AP-109/94).
  • Austroads, 1994, “Capitalization of road Infrastructure” (AP-116/94).
  • Austroads, 1997, “Strategy for Improving Asset Management Practice” (AP-53/97).
  • Austroads, 1997, “Strategy for Road User Costs” (AP-47/97).
  • Austroads, 2000, “RoadFacts 2000” (AP-G18/00).
  • Austroads, 2000, “Valuation of Road Infrastructure Assets in Australia and New Zealand” (AP-144/00).

Source: Laurie B. Dowling, Secretary, Austroads AMRG

Austroads and similar publications can be purchased at ARRB Transport Research or email BookSales[at]arrb.com.au

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