Canadian Society for Civil Engineering

Canadian Society for Civil Engineering

June 15, 2010 12:36 ET

National Survey Identifies Opportunities for Collaborations Between Municipal Finance, Accounting, Engineering and Public Works Departments

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) - A national survey of more than 120 municipalities across Canada conducted by the National Asset Management Working Group (NAMWG) shows that Finance, Accounting, Engineering and Public Works departments could leverage each other's work to improve the management of infrastructure ultimately resulting in more consistent and cost-effective public services.

"The goal at the outset of the planning process for this survey was to reinforce the need for a stronger relationship between those responsible for municipal finance and those responsible for asset management. Through this survey we have discovered two key points – that significant progress has been made in developing this relationship by understanding each others' responsibilities better and that we still have a long way to go!" said Reg Andres, Vice-Chair of NAMWG.

The survey was conducted in February and March 2010 and targeted finance/accounting and engineering/public works professionals. The municipalities that responded had a broad geographical and demographic distribution, thus providing a representative view of Canada's local government landscape.

"The results are submitted to the infrastructure community at large as an affirmation of the ongoing diligence required across Canada, at all levels, to continue developing and advancing asset management practices, and to recognize the multi-disciplinary nature of these efforts. It is imperative we continue to work together as an infrastructure community building a consensus for a National action plan for infrastructure," noted Greg Chartier, Chair of the Working Group.

It would be a strategic error to miss the opportunity to recognize these two converging processes and leverage this into action on a number of fronts, such as:

  • There is a role for a national organization like the National Asset Management Working Group with the mandate to bring the leadership of the multi-disciplinary stakeholders together to continue to review and share knowledge in a way that can provide insight and understanding in addressing some significant challenges for infrastructure on a national scale

  • Equally important, is the need for regional and local interactions of multi-disciplinary groups involved in infrastructure to work together in addressing specific processes and projects that advance our understanding and continuing improvement of asset management and financial management processes associated with infrastructure

The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) managed the survey. Funding assistance was provided by Infrastructure Canada. The survey is available on-line at http://www.namwg-gtnga.ca/

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