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Auditor-General's report

Auditor-General's report, Getting the right information to effectively manage public assets: Lessons from local authorities

The Auditor-General’s report Getting the right information to effectively manage public assets: Lessons from local authorities was presented to the House of Representatives today.

Local authorities are responsible for managing public assets that can affect the quality of life of all New Zealanders. These assets include roads, the infrastructure that delivers drinking water and disposes of wastewater and stormwater, and the playgrounds and parks where children play. New Zealanders rely on many of these assets in their day-to-day lives.

Local authorities need high-quality information about those assets to have meaningful discussions with their communities about them and the services they provide, and decide how to effectively manage them. As communities and environments change, the challenges that local authorities face are becoming more complex and so are the decisions that they need to make.

For this report, we looked at how five local authorities approached identifying and gathering the right information on their assets.

Local authorities need to use their resources effectively when gathering, recording, and retaining asset information. They need to understand which of their assets are the most important and have a systematic method that prioritises gathering information about these assets and for decisions that require the most certainty.

Successfully gathering and preserving the value of high-quality asset information depends on the participation and commitment of the people who work for and with local authorities. In our view, local authorities must be more open to developing relationships with each other and with peer organisations to share experience and knowledge. People in local authorities can contribute more to these kinds of relationships, which they will benefit from as well.

We encourage all asset-intensive entities to consider the lessons in this report and reflect on how they are gathering, recording, and retaining asset information.

A two-page summary and an epub of this report are also available on our website.


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