local authority transport infrastructure assets

The Code of Practice on Transport Infrastructure Assets provides guidance on asset management, financial management and reporting.

In 2006, HM Treasury and the Department for Transport commissioned CIPFA to carry out a review of accounting, management and finance mechanisms for local authority transport infrastructure assets. Following consultation, the final review report was issued in 2008, and the government's response, which accepted the review’s findings and recommendations, was published in January 2009. To support implementation, the Government asked CIPFA to produce a new code that would deliver robust, consistent financial information to support transport asset management, financial management and reporting.

Implementation is being overseen by a Project Implementation Steering Group (PISG) which includes representatives of the UK government and devolved administrations, local government, and national and local audit bodies. Detailed development work is being undertaken in collaboration with the Highways Asset Management Financial Information Group (HAMFIG) which includes local authority representatives from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Transport Code will also be used to report the assets on a current value basis in Whole of Government Accounts

Currently local authorities record the value of their transport infrastructure assets at historical cost within their accounts.  However, CIPFA/LASAAC, the body responsible for the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Accounting Code), considers that current value is a more appropriate measurement base for local authority assets.  CIPFA/LASAAC has therefore decided that the measurement requirements of the Transport Code will be adopted in the Accounting Code from 2016/17. Transport infrastructure assets will therefore be required to be measured on a DRC basis from that point. This will require retrospective restatement of the 2015/16 statements of account.

Code of Practice in Transport Infrastructure Assets 2013 update

The Code was updated in 2013 to strengthen the links to the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting.

The revised version is available to purchase, in book and CD ROM formats.

New guidance to the Transport Code

In May 2015, CIPFA published new guidance to the Transport Code that aims to provide practical assistance to enable local authorities to implement the Transport Code effectively.  This guidance is intended to be of value to both local authority highways asset managers and finance teams responsible for the completion of the Statements of Account.  The aims of the guidance are to

  • provide finance teams with the details of the valuation approach taken by engineers and the systems and processes involved; and
  • to give engineers details of the information required by accountants.

This is to ensure that both parties have an awareness of each other’s needs and to provide information to enable an effective dialogue between the two professions.
The Transport Code will be available to purchase online.

A range of supporting materials is also available.

Transport infrastructure assets questionnaire

To supplement the Accounting Code of Practice consultation by the CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Code Board, and to provide valuable information on readiness and progress against LAAP 100, the Highways Asset Management Financial Information Group (HAMFIG) and the Project Implementation Steering Group (PISG) are seeking your views through this short Transport infrastructure assets questionnaire. More details can be found in the CIPFA's Chief Executive letter of 26 August 2015