FLASHBACK TO 2015: Union of BC Municipalities and the BC provincial government jointly released “Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework” to set a new direction for achieving financial sustainability
Note to Reader:
Released in December 2014, the “Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework (Short Version)” establishes a high-level, systematic approach that supports local governments in moving toward service, asset and financial sustainability through an asset management approach. Development of the Framework was led by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) in partnership with Asset Management BC (AMBC).
In British Columbia, the Renewed Gas Tax Agreement drives Sustainable Service Delivery
Local governments in BC are challenged with the question of how best to move forward with asset management and protection of watershed health in light of two considerations: a changing climate; and community expectations to provide higher levels-of-service at reduced levels-of-cost.
The term Sustainable Service Delivery was coined in 2010. It was introduced by the Province to integrate financial accountability, infrastructure sustainability and service delivery. The Worth Every Penny Workshop hosted by the Regional District of Nanaimo in September 2010 initiated the branding of the concept.
A Focus on Desired Outcomes
“In May 2014, Canada, BC and UBCM signed the renewed Gas Tax Agreement for a 10-yr term,” reports Glen Brown, General Manager – UBCM Victoria Operations. “The Agreement identifies that local governments will be required to meet asset management commitments, as established by the Partnership Committee (the committee that oversees the strategic implementation of the agreement).”
“These asset management commitments are aligned with the newly developed Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework; and support local governments moving towards service, asset and financial sustainability. The BC Framework identifies natural services and the use of natural resources – and how they are part of / integrated into the overall services provided at a local government level.”
“For local governments looking for strategic direction and/or guidance with asset management, and meeting their GTA asset management commitment, the BC Framework becomes the principal resource. The focus is on desired outcomes – such as a Watershed Health Goal – rather than prescribing specific methodologies,” emphasizes Glen Brown.
A Recognition of Diversity
“The focus on desired outcomes allows local governments to develop and implement an approach that can be both incremental and measured, tailored to the individual needs and capacity of each local government,” continues Wally Wells, AMBC Executive Director.
“The BC Framework recognizes that asset management, and the best practices that support asset management, is scalable to community size and capacity. The BC Framework also recognizes there are many components within the asset management process and provides a circular, continuous pathway to link all components of the process together.”
A Provincial Direction
“A province-wide, made in BC, asset management strategy that goes beyond the requirements of the Gas Tax Asset Management Framework, is beneficial for all local governments, as well as other organizations. The BC Framework released in December 2014 provides a high level overview of what is needed to develop, implement and maintain strong asset management practices for local governments,” concludes Liam Edwards, Executive Director (Infrastructure and Finance, Local Government Division) Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
To Learn More:
The Gas Tax Agreement in British Columbia is delivered through three program streams: Community Works Fund; Strategic Priorities Fund; and Greater Vancouver Regional Fund. Visit the UBCM website to learn more about the Renewed Gas Tax Agreement.