Across Canada, First Nations communities and municipalities face challenges in maintaining their assets in a state of good repair so that they can provide safe, reliable services to their community members. With limited funding and financial pressures, communities have turned to asset management to ensure their infrastructure investments yield the highest returns possible.
An Asset Management Plan (AMP) helps a community take stock of its assets, assess their condition and capacity to meet demand, assess and mitigate risks, determine capital and operation and maintenance (O&M) needs, and develop plans to maintain and improve levels of service. AMPs are intended to be living documents that evolve continually, with the purpose of informing operating and capital decisions, and supporting long-term financial planning. Asset management can be described as: “Doing the right thing, to the right asset, at the right time ... at the right cost!”
Asset management entails more than a report; it is an organizational culture of continuous improvement facilitated by assessing the condition, value, and remaining life of community assets. This is done to assess risks to services provided to the community, identify the needs (i.e., human, material, and financial needs) to maintain and improve the quality of services provided by the assets, and plan for the future. An AMP is one of the key documents in a hierarchy of documents that guide the processes for managing infrastructure systems in a community, as illustrated below.