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room for improvement? managing your property assets effectively

8 October 2009

With the Audit Commissions Room for Improvement report, and subsequent guidance on good practice in strategic asset management published earlier this year, it is more important than ever for councils to be thinking about consistent and effective strategic approaches to the management of property assets.

The Commissions June 2009 report, Room for improvement: strategic assessment management in local government, examined the barriers and challenges faced by councils wanting to achieve a better strategic management of property with six case studies forming the basis of the good practice guidance. More recently, the briefing, Room for Improvement: a briefing for elected members on managing land and buildings, took things one step further by focusing its attention on providing practical advice to elected members on reviewing the management of property assets within their own councils.

The August briefing is designed to assist members in assessing how well their council is performing by encouraging members to:

  • Challenge their councils approach to managing properties
  • Scrutinise the decisions made and the processes followed to make them
  • Review the approach to management of property assets and the quality of the information available
  • Assess how far their councils are meeting the Commissions recommendations

Set in the context of the severe challenges that councils face in balancing their property assets to ensure that services are improved, environmental and equality legislation requirements are met and that they are offering decent productive working for staff, whilst finding ways of making efficiency savings and providing good value for money, councils may now feel a surge of member focus on these issues.

It seems clear that one of the key focuses will be how robust the management information and how reliable the property data held by councils is. Without reliable management information and data on the properties held, councils will struggle to make informed decisions about what to do in relation to their property assets to meet the challenges.

We act for many local authorities and private clients and understand that effective management of property assets is an important part of your business. As part of this, we have developed Tracker, an online property management system, designed to put you in control of your property assets in a simple, straightforward, easy to use manner. Tracker provides you with immediate and secure access to key information about your property interests. With no annual maintenance charge, and just a one off set up fee, Tracker helps you to manage your budgets, whilst allowing you to protect your assets by ensuring that unexpected costs are kept to a minimum and opportunities for revenue are maximised moving forward.

If you would like to learn more about Tracker, or the ways we are working with other clients to improve and advise on the management of their property assets, please contact our team.

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