Code of Practice on the Highways Network Asset (2016 Edition)



This Code has been updated following CIPFA/LASAAC’s decision to measure the Highways Network Asset in accordance with this Code from 1 April 2016.







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If you are a CIPFA Publications subscriber, have you downloaded the Briefing Note to accompany this title?

This Code of Practice was originally prepared in 2010 at the request of the Government and implemented a key recommendation from the CIPFA review of local authority transport assets which reported in 2008.

Since then, it has enabled data to be provided to the Treasury for Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) as well as helping practitioners to manage infrastructure assets effectively. It was updated in 2013 following a full review.

This 2016 update follows the decision by the CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Accounting Code Board that local authority Highways Network Asset (HNA) will be measured at Depreciated Replacement Cost (DRC) in accordance with this Code, instead of historical cost, from 1 April 2016.

CIPFA/LASAAC has been keen to ensure that for the HNA such a valuable asset is reflected at the true economic value and operational cost of the substantial resources held and maintained by local authorities.

This publication, when combined with the updated Code of Practice on the Highways Network Asset: Guidance Notes and the associated Accounting for the Highways Network Asset will provide practitioners with the tools they need to effectively implement the new measurement requirements.

Whilst the principles and measurements requirements of this Code have not changed, the 2016 update includes the following:

  • renaming of the Code
  • inclusion of the impact of the CIPFA/LASAAC decisions
  • strengthening of the links to the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the UK with the use of bold paragraphs.

The primary users of this Code will be finance staff responsible for highways financial management, corporate budgeting and financial planning and highway engineers in charge of managing and operating the assets.

The Code will also be used as a tool by auditors in assessing the reasonableness of local authority’s valuation estimates.

For several years now authorities have been encouraged to develop highways asset management planning because of its potential to improve services and deliver efficiency savings. This was reinforced by the Department for Transport setting aside a proportion of their funding for an Incentive Fund scheme, to reward councils who demonstrate through a self-assessment process that they are delivering value for money in carrying out cost effective improvements.

Implementation of the new Code will provide consistent, high quality financial information to support asset management, financial management and financial reporting.

The Code is available in hard copy and online.

The digital, online version is available as both searchable HTML and a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation.

Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA’s Publications Department.

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