Inspire : Public Works July Aug 2012
45 funds at peak asset renewal times. It will be able to repay such borrowings in periods of below average asset renewals. Local governments in all Australian jurisdictions are now required to prepare asset management plans and long-term fnancial plans. They help decision makers to: • determine affordable, preferred ser vice levels; • assess the capacity to borrow funds when necessary and ascertain optimal borrowing arrangements; • ensure monies are available to maintain and renew assets at times and in ways that minimise whole of life cost of ser vice from assets; and • have appropriate regard to intergenerational equity in their revenue raising and ser vice level decisions. IPWEA, in partnership with the Australian Centre for Excellence of Local Government (ACELG), has recently released Practice Note No 6, Long-ter m Financial Planning. It is a guide to assist local governments and other asset intensive organisations with preparing a long-term fnancial plan. It encourages a simple, but strategic approach to assist with funding and fnancing decisions. The document was prepared in consultation with countrywide representatives of both local governments and those agencies responsible for administering local gover nment systems. Furthermore, IPWEA and ACELG have prepared a simple, Microsoft Excel-based, long-term fnancial planning model. It can be readily customised to meet the preferred reporting formats of individual entities or specifc requirements applying in particular jurisdictions. However, the guidance set out in Practice Note No 6 remains equally applicable, regardless of whether the prepared model is used or not. During April and May, IPWEA conducted one-day training courses on long-ter m fnancial planning based on the content of Practice Note No 6 in various regional locations throughout New South Wales. Feedback from both fnance and asset management staff who attended was extremely positive. So far, all of the attendees of both regional and metro workshops have indicated that the course met their expectations and that they would recommend it to others. Some sessions were booked out, so in response to demand, further sessions will be held in NSW and other states later in 2012. ••• FURTHER TRAINING IPWEA will o er two-day workshops in September and October this year to complement the training course. The rst day will serve as a prerequisite for the practical, hands-on activities of the second day. Attendees will apply what they've learnt on the Excel LTFP model. It will be optional to attend day two of the workshop and it is also available to those in NSW who attended the one- day series in April and May this year. WHAT TO BRING Participants should bring: • a laptop computer • their asset management plans and other strategic planning documents; • their current budget; and • their previous year’s nancial statements. This information would be used to prepare or update a long-term nancial plan using the IPWEA model and based on a ordable service levels. The workshops will be suitable for both asset managers and, importantly, nance managers. MORE INFORMATION To find out when these workshops will be in a city near you, please turn to page 64. For more information, please contact admin@ ipwea.org.au or visit www.ipwea. org.au/LTFP You can download a free digital copy of the Practice Note, or order a hard copy for $55, from www.ipwea. org.au/LTFP The IPWEA Excel- based model -- and instructions on its use -- can also be downloaded free of charge. A ordability is not the same as available cash, or cash generated within a period. Instead an entity should focus on the underlying or trend-operating result over the medium term. i CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION Have your say on this story. Go to http://goo.gl/6P2QC to comment on this article.
Public Works Sept Oct 2012