Asset Management

The public sector is the custodian of billions of dollars in essential assets: utility infrastructure, highways, hospitals, schools, ports, and more. These assets inevitably deteriorate, requiring maintenance and eventually replacement. Governments can use strategic asset management—a future-focused modeling methodology that is specific to long-life facilities and infrastructure assets—to figure out what to address and when.

GFOA Best Practice

Local, state and provincial governments should establish a system for assessing their capital assets and then appropriately plan and budget for any capital maintenance and replacement needs.

Developing policies to guide capital asset management practices that are supported by both finance and operational/engineering expertise is essential for financial sustainability. To begin, GFOA recommends that governments:

  1. Develop an accurate and comprehensive asset inventory
  2. Establish condition/functional performance standards for each type of capital asset
  3. Evaluate existing capital assets to determine if they still provide the most appropriate method to deliver services
  4. Consider developing financial policies that identify and dedicate fees or other revenue sources to help maintain the expected service levels of capital assets
  5. Allocate sufficient funds in the multi-year capital plan
  6. Monitoring and communicating progress toward stated goals and the overall condition of its capital assets
  7. At least once every three years, providing a "plain language" report on capital assets

Case Studies

Recent Publications

GFOA Strategic and Research Partners