Current issues in complex physical engineering assets: an analysis of major capital works, major road projects and prison accommodation
McGeoch, M, Brown, K & Brunetto, Y 2012 'Current issues in complex physical engineering assets: an analysis of major capital works, major road projects and prison accommodation', Third International Engineering Systems Symposium: design and governance in engineering systems: roots, trunk, blossoms, Delft University of Technology, 18-20 June, Delft University, Delft, Netherlands.
This paper examines the way in which asset management (AM) infrastructure are performing as complex engineering systems. Current issues identified are the ever-increasing demands to deliver improved returns on the investment made in physical assets while experiencing downward pressure on available resources, time and budgets. Supporting data were drawn from the Victorian Auditor-General’s reports on major capital works, major road projects and prison accommodation to understand and analyze the research problem. Organizations have encountered problems in obtaining greater efficiencies from infrastructure assets for a considerable time and many own substantial infrastructure assets. The difficulties faced include the risks from mismanagement of major assets as well as ageing and poorly maintained infrastructure and physical assets. We argue this issue is a global problem that is costly to governments and the firms that own or operate these assets. Another related aspect is the lack of ownership, governance, structure, and risk management strategies and arrangements—in particular, the contract arrangements and design processes for contractors in areas such as the road infrastructure industry. Findings show operationalizing strategic decisions pertaining to AM requires an analysis of: technical, managerial and economic decisions concerning the asset; optimal choices between various procurement and management options for specific types of assets and infrastructure to develop appropriate policy and implementation strategies; policy and regulatory regimes (standardization, adaptation and harmonization); assurance, both reputational capital and quality; understanding implications; strategic planning; risk assessment for engineering asset management (EAM); and risk in high reliability organizations, safety and critical infrastructure.