Asset Management

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Council Services

  • 1.  Council Services

    Posted 09-07-2012 22:53
    It seems to me that to do a good job of developing service levels, that very first step should be to document all of the services delivered by a Council.

    I suspect a lot of Councils have had a go at this, but that the attempt has been done in isolation and that as a result every council has a different name for each service they deliver and a slightly different definition to go along with it. 

    I was thinking that there would be a whole lot of value in Councils getting together to come up with an agreed list of Council services and corresponding definitions.  

    Has anyone's Council done a good job of listing and defining Council services that they would be prepared to share as a starting point?
     


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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC

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  • 2.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 10-07-2012 12:01
    Wayne,

    We developed service levels for Civic and Recreation Servces and had them adopted by the Council after a suitable public exhibition period. They were further developed to involve all the asset related services delivered by Council. I don't know if they are what you are looking for but may help. They are not in the format relating to the asset management plans template.

    See the link below
    http://www.armidale.nsw.gov.au/images/documents/armidale/mig/457913-MAINTENANCESERVICELEVELS.pdf

    Regards, Phil
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    Phil Brown
    Manager, Civic and Recreation services
    Armidale Dumaresq Council
    ARMIDALE NSW

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  • 3.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 10-07-2012 12:02
    Wayne,

    I do not understand your question or why you are looking for a list.

    As Asset Management people we are interested (heavily involved) in the services delivered from "assets" (both infrastructure and other "soft" assets).

    If this is your interest you only need to look at the good (better, best) asset management plans ('AMP') that are readily available. (All councils should have one/many at various levels of sophistication).

    The understanding of service levels (services) is a key to a successful AMP and sucessful asset management planning.

    The breakdown of these services is so important to an AMP that they warrant their own section (Section 3.0 in the IPWEA AMP template). I agree that this area is often not given the attention that it should get.

    Grab one of the many (good ones) that are eventually placed on Councils web site. Have a read and tell me if this partly answers your question. Happy to talk further on this.

    Regards

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    Darron Passlow
    Asset Management
    Pittwater Council
    MONA VALE NSW

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  • 4.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 11-07-2012 11:27
    Darron and Wayne,
    I have been trying for some time to get agreement on a complete and definitive list of services that Council provides so I understand where Wayne is coming from.  We should be able to define a list of about 20 services that the community receives directly, with our assets providing inputs into those services.  Such a list provides consistency in developing Service Plans and financial reporting in terms of the servcies the customer gets.  For example, Building Management is not a service, but an input into a number of different services such as libraries, sports facilites etc.  The matrix below illustrates the principle (Services that don't use a lot of assets are exlcuded from the matrix).

    I totally agree with Wayne that there is a lot of merit in getting consistency on this accross Councils in terms of reporting, benchmarking and continuous improvement, and I'd be happy to work further with anyone else to develop this.
     



    Services and the Assets that Contribute to the Service

     

     

    Civil Infrastructure Asset Management Plan

    Building AMP

    Open Space AMP

    Asset Dependent

    Service Area

    Asset Group

    Roads

    Drains

    Bridges /Culverts

    Car Parks

    Paths

    Lights

    Buildings and roofed structures

    Structures

    Irrigation

    Sportsfields & Courts

    Playgrounds

    Trees & Vegetation

    Community Centres

     

     

     

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    Family & Children's Services

     

     

     

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    Libraries

     

     

     

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    Parks & Reserves (inc toilets)

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    Paths & Trails

     

     

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    Transport, Roads & Road Safety

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    Drainage

     

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    Active Outdoor Recreation

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    Sport (indoor) & Leisure facilities

     

     

     

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    ˜                  Asset group makes a significant contribution to the identified Service Area.

     

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    Eric Van Toor
    Team Leader Asset Management
    Casey City Council
    NARRE WARREN VIC

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  • 5.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 11-07-2012 13:51
    Thanks, Eric, Darron & Phil for your responses.

    Darron, I think consistency of message is very importantant.

    The City of Whittlesea for example has published a Community Services Directory

    http://www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/community-services-and-health/community-directories/~/media/Files/Community%20Services%20and%20Health/Community%20directories/Council%20services%20directory.pdf

    It lists Road Maintenance as a service, and fair enough too.  Lots of Council's probably list Road Maintenance as a service, but what is the service level associated with it? 

    When I was at Bundaberg this was the Road Maintenance service level table I was working on.

    Is culvert cleaning a service?  People who ring up and ask for their culvert to be unblocked probably think so.  Would they automatically conclude that culvert cleaning is part of Road Maintenance?  I suspect not.

    Perhaps "Culvert Cleaning" should be added to the website, so that when people ring up Council they are talking a language the Customer Service Unit understands. 

    Problem/Defect Intervention Level Remedy/Activity Response Time
    Hazard Report N/A Condition Inspection/Temporary Signage Urgent - 24 hours, Non-Urgent - 1 week
    Blocked Culvert Noticeable reduction in capacity Culvert Cleaning 3 months
    Blocked Drain Noticeable reduction in capacity Drain Cleaning 3 months
    Edge Break Seal width reduced by 500mm Bitumen Repairs 2 years
    Edge Drop Off >100mm Shoulder Maintenance 1 months
    Excessive Roadside Vegetation Operator judgment call Roadside Slashing/Herbicide Spraying When possible
    Faded Roadmarkings more than 50% faded Line Marking 2 months
    Shoulder Gravel Wash-away more than 1 cubic metre of shoulder lost Spot Gravel Repair 3 months
    Missing or Damaged Sign Missing or unreadable Sign Replacement/Repair 1 week
    Pothole >75mm depth and/or 200mm diameter Bitumen Repairs 1 month
    Protruding Footpath Lip >5mm in otherwise smooth footpath Footpath Repair 3 months
    Rough Gravel Surface Unable to travel comfortably at 80km/hr Patrol Grading 3 months
    Rubbish on Road >10% reduction in traction Street Sweeping 1 month
    Water ponding against kerb >5m of kerb affected Kerb & Channel Repair 12 months

    And wouldn't be much easier for Ratepayers if every Council used the same terminology?   I think so.  I think a checklist of Council Services that every Council could use to get on the same page would be good for everyone.

    And lastly I think all service should contain a verb.

    "Maternal and Child Health Centres" is a group noun not a service.
    "Roundabouts" are a traffic control devices not a service.
    "Hygiene Standards" are very important, but they are not a service.

    A well thought out list of Council Services, would make it a lot easier for everyone.

    Regards,

    Wayne Eddy

     


     


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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC

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  • 6.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 12-07-2012 14:34
    Wayne, Eric
    Your Community Services Directory is purely that - a directory.
    It (in some instances) gives the location and where a service can be delivered but it is not the service.
    Your list is how we try to make sure we can deliver the services (we are supposed to deliver), but they are not the service(s).
    Take a simple example of McDonalds - reknown for excellent customer service.
    Mackers will list its outlets (facilities) - this is NOT the SERVICE.
    The main service that customers expect and get, every time thay enter a Mackers is;
    A good reliable meal provided at the right price.
    The same food, the same price, the same quality, the same speed, the same smiles, the same jargon etc anywhere in the world. 
     
    Eric is getting closer but I agree describes the facilities (and does rightly call them the asset groups) that provide the utlimate service - they are not the service.

    We have to turn this discussion around.
    What are we primarily here for (as a Council) - "To deliver services to our community in a safe and meaningful way".
    What does this say to me;
    We need to start at the community in describing services - if we are interested in providing community (customer) services.

    So again I come back to our (my) guiding document (light) - our asset management plans.
    Here in the level of service chapter (section 3.0?) we describe two levels of service;
    1 Comunity Level of Service ('LoS')
    2 Technical Level of Service i.e how council (internally) looks at the service they are delivering

    For example take the good old road network (with simple descriptors);
    The Commuity LoS
    "Provide a smooth, acceptable, safe ride on our roads"
    Measure this by community complaints, accidents, injuries etc
    Technical LoS
    "Keep our roads with a PCI (Pavement Condition Index) between 8.0 and 8.5 (I wish!)
    "Fix Potholes when they become critical"
    "Fix Edge Breaks"
    "Sweep Roads"
    These technical LoS are measurable, so suit out technical/engineering bent, but they are there to ensue we deliver the services (to the community) that we promise (and have agreed to).

    All of this information (in one form or another) will be recorded, kept, referred to and utilised from our Asset Management Plans ('AMP') and associated information.
    We should have asset management plans across all our key asset classes, and each plan should be driven by the Community (agreed) levels of service. This is what Integrated Planning & Reporting (in NSW) is all about!

    Happy to discuss further but look to your AMPs and get it right there but also make sure your AM policy and AM strategy drive everyone in Council towards the same AM Planning goals (Community Service Delivery goals).

    Regards

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    Darron Passlow
    Asset Management
    Pittwater Council
    MONA VALE NSW

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  • 7.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 12-07-2012 14:49
    All too often we focus on actions rather than services.
    I note that there is little or no reference so far to water and sewer service.
    My training is that we (water authority) are providing a service supporting "public health" and what we deliver this by supply of clean water and removal of contaminated water.
    I would suggest that the raod and footpath infrastructure might be better regarded as providing "Transport amenity" to the community. (Enabling comparison of effectiveness of cycleways, pedestrian bridges, road surface improvements and so on.)
    Libraries, sports facilities, parks and such might be regarded as providing "Social interaction" opportunities.

    This type of separation will enable strategic evaluation of different tactical activities that might be on different asset types that affect the public in a similar service.

    Yes we do need to manage the assets/hardware involved, but for instance a travelling library bus only provides access to booke, while a library building (for instance) enables access to books plus social interaction, group discussion, public gathering places and other such amenity.

    I think we need to look beyond an objective of "good roads" towards an objective of "Excellent transport amenity" that might even be delivered by assets that we don't currently consider.

    For instance, how much is spent on maintaining roads and parking spaces in CBDs for all the cars driven by individuals, the frustration of shoppers in congested streets and so on compared to having a good bus system operating from the outlying streets? Less cars on the roads, fewer accidents, less wear on the roads, more available parking spaces in CBD, shorter travel time from reduced congestion and so on.

    I know that Newcastle City (NSW) has used a "free bus zone" to encourage people to not use cars and that seems to be working.

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    Lance Scriven
    Asset Performance Standards Officer
    Midcoastwater
    Taree NSW

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  • 8.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 12-07-2012 02:55
    A topic close to our heart ... not that we've made heaps of progress yet ... but we're keenly interested and hope to gather enough momentum soon ...

    A few years back Maroochy Council had a very impressive operational plan listing services and their relationship with AM areas.  It was called the "
    Maroochy Council Operational Plan 2007 - 2008".  I've got a copy on my PC.

    I'll upload an extract when I can, at the moment I'm getting all sorts of errors tho.

       :-)  a.


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    Andreas Hack
    Asset Management Planning Coordinator
    Hobart City Council
    HOBART TAS
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  • 9.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 12-07-2012 14:32
    Good Morning All,

    The IT fairies are kinder this morning ... here's one of the pages.


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    Andreas Hack
    Asset Management Planning Coordinator
    Hobart City Council
    HOBART TAS

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  • 10.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 12-07-2012 14:32
      |   view attached
    ... and this is the whole doc ...

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    Andreas Hack
    Asset Management Planning Coordinator
    Hobart City Council
    HOBART TAS
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  • 11.  RE:Council Services

    Posted 20-07-2012 17:58
    Thanks for uploading the Maroochy document, Andreas.

    I think the "Service Outputs" and "Service Output Descriptions" are a very good starting point for developing a list of generic Council Services.  The pdf seems to be a bit tricky to download, so I have reproduced them (with a couple of minor changes) below.

    AIRPORT - Provision of a regional air transport node for the Municipality
    AQUATIC CENTRES - Provision of public access to aquatic centres for safe recreational, competitive and/or educational aquatic experiences.
    BOTANIC GARDENS - Accessible recreation area to display and interpret local regional flora, its conservation and threatening processes to increase awareness and understanding for visitors and residents through display interpretation and art.
    BUSHLAND CONSERVATION AND HABITAT - Provision of a sustainable and, where possible, an enhanced contribution to global Biodiversity.
    CANALS - Provide recreational and waterfront amenity for the community, residential access for watercraft, and protect the environmental health of the water body and its immediate surrounds.
    CARAVAN PARKS - Provision of camping and cabin holiday venues.
    CARPARKS - All weather space for short-term storage of vehicles
    CEMETERIES - Provision of an open space environment for burials, interments, and reflective remembrance.
    DISASTER MANAGEMENT - Arrangements about managing the potential adverse effects of un-planned events.
    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Growing and attracting sustainable employment through business development and investment attraction within the Shire.
    GRAVEL ROADS - Connect people, places, goods and services throughout the Shire and region (Gravel Roads).
    LANDSCAPE & AMENITY - A desirable urban environment that enhances amenity, liveability, comfort, community interaction and civic pride through connectivity
    LIBRARIES - Provision of a range of library and information services including the loan of books and audio/visual materials, access to reference and information services and programs and activities for particular groups within the community through a network of 4 branch libraries, mobile library and website.
    LIFEGUARD - Provision of community services, including beach and water safety, beach wise education, local laws application and tourism support.
    PATHWAYS - Provide for the physical pursuits of walking and cycling
    POLICY ENFORCEMENT & STATUTES - Regulation of Local Laws, environmental health, erosion control and pool fencing.
    PUBLIC ARTWORK & CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT - cultural activities, facilities and artworks at significant or high visibility locations.
    PUBLIC TOILETS - Facilities provide comfort, amenity and access to the whole community.
    QUARRY - Provision of quarry product to internal (at priority) and external customers at commercial rates.
    RECREATION PARKS - Accessible and equitable recreational areas that have sufficient capacity to change and evolve over time, to address a community need for informal, unstructured recreational and social/cultural experiences.
    RECREATION TRAILS - A trail experience for a range of recreational users (walkers, cyclists, canoeist or horse riders, etc) that links areas of open space or recreation facilities.
    RIVERS & STREAMS - Provide for recreational use and protect the environmental health of natural watercourses and any abutting riparian corridors.
    SEALED ROADS - Connect people, places, goods and services throughout the Shire and region (Sealed & Gravel).
    SEWERAGE - Removal and treatment of sewage, within the sewerage benefited areas, recycling treated water where appropriate.
    SHIRE PLANNING - Provision of statutory and strategic planning policy and advice in response to the social, environmental and economic needs for the Shire.
    SHOWGROUNDS & CIVIC CENTRES - Provision of venues for shows and events.
    SPORTSGROUNDS & COURTS, SPORTS DEVELOPMENT - Research/plan/provide for current and future sporting and recreational needs, facilities and programs.
    STORMWATER DISPOSAL - The collection, conveyance and disposal of storm and floodwaters.
    STORMWATER QUALITY - Provide for the capture and removal of contaminants from stormwater flows, and the improvement of the quality of stormwater being discharged into the natural environment.
    SHARED SERVICES - Internal services provided to support Council operations.
    TOURISM SUPPORT - Provision of information and bookings on accommodation/tours/coach travel/attractions for inbound tourists and residents across Maroochy Shire.
    WATER SUPPLY - Supply of potable drinking water and fire fighting capability within the water supply benefited areas.
    WASTE MANAGEMENT - Provision of domestic and commercial solid waste collection, disposal and recycling services.

    The Landscape and Amenity service output in particular is got me thinking.  I think perhaps Municipal Amenity might be a better term, but when you look at the definition "A desirable urban environment that enhances amenity, liveability, comfort, community interaction and civic pride through connectivity" it is pretty central to a lot of what Councils do and why, and I am very keen to learn if other Councils have identified a similar service.

    Regards,
     
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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC

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