The Department maintains a register of assets with a value of $5,000 or more. In addition, other factors such as attractiveness and portability are considered when determining whether an asset should be recorded in the Department's asset register. Computer equipment costing $5,000 or more has been capitalised.
The Department is also responsible for the management of the State Classified Road Network, which consists of over 3,700 km of roads servicing all major population centres and transport routes. It includes 561 km of the National Highway; 232 km of unsealed roads in rural areas; as well as responsibility for 1,200 bridges and structures. The Department has an asset management focus when looking at future strategies and assessment of the Road Network.
Asset management systems
The Department maintains a computerised database of assets, with regular updates to record acquisitions, transfers and disposals.
Detailed asset management systems have also been developed for infrastructure assets, including the maintenance of condition data to assist in asset valuation and management.
The Department uses a range of methods for valuing its assets. Full details are disclosed in the Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2002.
The Department undertakes an extensive process each year to value its roads assets. It produces a document each year which supports the valuations as at 30 June each year. The aggregated details are disclosed in the Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2002.
Asset acquisition and disposal
The acquisition and disposal of assets is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Management and Audit Act 1990.
The Department recognises that risk management is an integral part of the management process, and has implemented a number of mechanisms for the management of risks associated with its activities.
The higher-level performance assessments that are part of a continuing internal audit process routinely report on opportunities for minimising risks in the audited areas.
In 1998-99 the Department joined the Tasmanian Risk Management Fund. This involves whole- of-government and department-specific insurance cover either through self-insurance or purchased insurance coverage. The program began with a whole-of-government risk identification and assessment process. A more detailed assessment of the Department's risk and control systems was conducted in 2000-01.
The quality system implemented for the development and maintenance of roads represents a significant proportion of the Agency's operations. It is designed to manage the risks associated with this core business.
It is also subject to external surveillance and incorporates:
clear definition of accountabilities;
executive review of system effectiveness;
management of risk within processes;
feedback systems for improvement;
audits of these activities; and
audits of the work of contractors to the Agency.
In December 1997 the Department undertook an extensive assessment of its tangible risks. The findings of this assessment have been used to draft a risk management policy and put in place actions to address high-risk areas.
Since then the Department has undertaken a number of targeted risk assessments for specific functions for which the Department is responsible.
During 2001-02 the Department took the opportunity to bring together a number of initiatives with the intention of having a more integrated management approach. The Department began, and substantially completed, a total Business Risk Review, which identified key risks and strategies to mitigate those risks.
The Department also reviewed its corporate planning processes to enhance the strategic management focus. A major component of this was the recognition of the Department's key risks and their associated mitigation strategies in business plans at all levels of the Department.
In 2001-02 the Department continued moving its internal audit program towards a risk-based model which considers progress in implementing mitigation strategies and overall risk ratings in developing both long and short term internal audit programs.