Asset Management Systems Auditing Approach

Waste water treatment plant , Melbourne, Australia

Cardno was commissioned by IPART to undertake research and facilitate engagement public water utilities to explore the opportunities and risks associated with a move towards a systems based auditing approach.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is responsible for monitoring the compliance of Public Water Utilities (PWUs) in New South Wales against their operating licences and typically achieves this objective through an annual operating licence audit. IPART proposed to refine its approach to auditing the asset management clauses in the operating licences of the PWUs it regulated to better reflect the systems-based nature of the licence clauses. As part of the review process, Cardno facilitated workshops to promote discussion and seek feedback on IPART’s proposal to move towards a systems-based (ISO 55001) auditing approach. Prior to the workshop Cardno undertook research, assessment of good practice and prepared a discussion paper to:

  • provide background to IPART’s project to refine its asset management auditing approach;
  • outline important issues to be considered by IPART in developing its preferred approach;
  • pose questions relating to these important issues; and
  • provide a basis for the workshop discussions.

Cardno facilitated the workshop and then prepared a report that summarised the workshop findings including the benefits and risks identified.

The culmination of the review was a recommended approach to implementing systems based licencing for asset management. IPART has subsequently moved to this systems-based approach for the public water utilities in New South Wales – Sydney Water, WaterNSW and Hunter Water.