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Wales’ asset management practices compare favourably with the rest of the UK, although the condition of the local authority property estate is lagging behind. This is the verdict of an inquiry submission by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
CIPFA submitted its response to the Finance Committee of the National Assembly for Wales’ Inquiry into Asset Management. The response finds that although Wales’ asset management approaches are generally of a reasonable quality, the condition of the local authority property estate does not compare well with Scotland and England.
Another conclusion of the submission finds that the Welsh Government’s’ ‘State of the Estate’ report is not a true asset management plan as it does not include all Government property, and lacks strategic targets. CIPFA recommends that the Committee should explore how the Welsh Government could improve its strategic planning of assets and also investigate what plans local authorities have to improve the condition of their estates.
The number of public administrative buildings operating in the Welsh Government reduced by 47% over four years, however the total floor area only reduced by 8.7%. CIPFA recommends that the Committee seeks evidence to ensure that the space occupied is at an optimum level and that good practice is being adopted.
Other specific recommendations from CIPFA include investigating a pan-public sector approach to managing Wales’ assets, the introduction of Asset Management Healthchecks and creating an independent centre of expertise similar to the one in operation in Scotland.
Chris Tidswell, Head of CIPFA Wales, commented,
“It is great to find that Wales’ public asset management compares favourably with the rest of the UK. But practices could still be improved and we are pleased to have this opportunity to highlight potential improvements.
“The Committee’s final conclusions and recommendations should help the Welsh Government to better manage its assets, save money and ensure good financial management across the Welsh public sector estate.”
CIPFA Press Office
T: 020 7543 5600
Notes to Editors: