STEP Asset Management & Financial Sustainability Program
The MAV STEP Asset Management and Financial Sustainability Program supports councils in their continuing journey to achieve positive outcomes for the services they deliver to their communities.
The proposed updated Local Government Act will strengthen the role of Mayors and community engagement, and will mandate a 10 year Community Plan. The four year Council Plan is intended respond to this, detailing councils’ strategic response to community priorities.
Councils will need to understand their capacity to deliver services and meet infrastructure demand after considering the impacts of rate capping and fixed grant reductions. This fiscally constrained environment coupled with increasing community demand will necessitate increased understanding and justification of priorities, while also remaining financially sustainable.
Leadership will be needed to guide councils through the myriad of comparative choices to inform deliberative community engagement. Information built on sound evidence will be the currency required to lead councils and inform their decision-making.
This new environment will legislate for asset managers to provide 10 year Asset Management Plans to inform community engagement. More than ever before, strategic justification for the range of services, service levels, user charges and asset utilisation will all come under scrutiny.
Evidence-based decision-making will require councils to understand the complexity of managing a large and extensive range of services and infrastructure base, and more particularly what assets are required, and at what standard, to provide the council services.
This new era will see councils increase partnerships and shared services, become more customer-centric in a digital world, place more emphasis on community engagement, improve community wellbeing and provide more place-based leadership.
Where do councils of the future need to be and where does asset management fit?
This is the key question the MAV STEP Program 2017/18 seeks to explore with Victorian councils under the theme – Readiness for Digital Transformation – a key transformation to enhance quality, access and useability of information.
The traditional requirements remain, and as part of the STEP council visits we will revisit these with a deeper interrogation of the evidence supporting the NAMAF scoring in each council to ensure competency development continues.
A series of tailored and customisable sessions will see exploration of life cycle costing, linking assets to services, and broadening the criteria against which the sector measures asset priority and performance.