May 2018
New Asset Management Resources

2018-05-08 2:15:18 PM

CATEGORIES: Infrastructure

Last week the Minister of Infrastructure wrote to Mayors, CAOs, and Stakeholders to provide an update on new asset management resources available to municipalities. The resources include the dissemination of best practices, the creation of custom asset management plan assessments, and direct program support for local governments. Please see the Minister's letter below for a full description of these new resources: 


Dear Mayor/CAO/Stakeholder:

As you know, in December 2017 the province introduced a new regulation, Ontario Regulation 588/17 Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure, under the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015. The new regulation builds on the province’s 2012 Guide to Asset Management Planning and is the critical next step for advancing evidence-based decision-making.

As part of our consultations on the regulation, we heard from municipalities that tools and supports are needed to help implement the requirements. That is why, as part of the introduction of the new regulation in December 2017, we committed $25 million over five years to offer a suite of tools and supports. This commitment was reaffirmed in the 2018 Budget. I am pleased to share further details regarding this commitment. The province will deliver the tools and supports through a three stage plan. 

The first stage will focus on spreading knowledge of best practices. As part of this stage, the province is partnering with Asset Management Ontario (AMOnt) on an initiative that will expand their community of practice work to municipalities across the province. Starting this year, AMOnt will deliver a series of activities, such as group seminars, online forums, peer reviews, and practitioner-led working groups. More information will be made available on their website soon. We have also partnered with the Municipal Finance Officers Association of Ontario (MFOA) to create a toolkit to help municipalities develop a strategic asset management policy, which is required under the new regulation. This toolkit will be made available in the coming weeks on MFOA’s website.

Under the second stage, the province is partnering with MFOA to provide small municipalities with in-person expert asset management plan assessments and localized action plans. Through this initiative, asset management experts will travel to communities, assess current asset management plans, identify opportunities for improvement, and provide expert advice that is tailored to the needs of each municipality. For some small communities with limited resources, this assistance may also include preliminary planning work (e.g. lifecycle costing) as time and program resources permit. This initiative will be implemented using a phased approach, starting with municipalities with populations under 5,000, and expanding to municipalities with populations up to 25,000 over time. MFOA will be connecting with eligible communities directly over the next few months. 

In the third and final stage, the province intends to deliver a direct support program to municipalities that will build upon the progress made under the first two stages. This initiative will provide direct support to municipalities to help them complete asset management planning activities, such as condition assessments, levels of service measurements and lifecycle costing. Based on what we heard through consultations, we plan to target funding to small communities in particular. Through the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) and other partner organizations, we look forward to hearing your feedback on the proposed program prior to launching in 2019. More details will be provided at that time.

Lastly, I am pleased to announce the completion of two additional tools that will further support municipalities in their asset management planning efforts. With previous funding support from the province, MFOA has developed an Asset Management Community of Practice Guide that will help municipalities come together to establish their own community of practice, as well as an Asset Management Self-Assessment Tool that will let municipalities evaluate their asset management planning maturity. 

Asset management planning is vital for the future of our communities and is more important than ever, given significant and growing infrastructure pressures and new challenges resulting from a changing climate. We are confident that the tools and supports that are being made available will help Ontario municipalities to better anticipate their infrastructure investment needs, prevent assets from deteriorating, save money over the long term, and ensure that local infrastructure supports the needs of their community.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at MunicipalAssetManagement@ontario.ca

Sincerely,

Bob Chiarelli
Minister


 


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