Appendix 3: Expectations for long-term planning by an established infrastructure manager

Maintaining and renewing the rail network.

For the purposes of our performance audit, we set out our expectations for an established infrastructure manager. We do not consider Ontrack to be an established infrastructure manager as it has been responsible for the rail network for a relatively short time (about three years at the time of our audit). Our expectations were:

Overarching criteria
The organisation has an asset management plan for the rail network, and uses it as a key planning tool.
The asset management plan includes information about:
  • the plan's purpose and fit within the organisation's documents and processes;
  • description of assets;
  • levels of service;
  • planned work;
  • financial forecasts;
  • risk management; and
  • performance evaluation and improvement.
Detailed criteria for long-term planning
Systems, plans, policies, and procedures covered in the asset management plan, or that underpin it.
3.1 Plan purpose and fit within the organisation's documents and processes
  • The date the plan was approved and the time period the plan covers is clear.
  • Plan objectives are stated.
  • There is a clear link between asset management planning and the organisation's strategic/corporate goals.
  • There are clear links between the asset management plan and business planning.
  • There are clear accountabilities and responsibilities for asset management.
  • There is a process for preparing the asset management plan.
  • The organisation consults with key stakeholders as part of its asset management planning.
  • There is a description of key asset management processes and systems.
3.2 Description of assets
  • The organisation holds a description of its assets.
  • It holds information on asset condition, performance, utilisation, capacity, and financial value.
  • It can aggregate and disaggregate the information it has for assets.
3.3 Levels of service
  • There are clear proposed levels of service for the asset. The length of time over which these services will be delivered is defined.
  • Existing levels of service are known.
  • There is a clear basis for the proposed levels of service.
  • There are clear performance targets and measures for the levels of service.
3.4 Planned physical works
  • Planning assumptions are listed.
  • There is information on the degree of confidence of data reliability underpinning the plan (for example, information held on assets, accuracy of demand forecasts).
Demand forecasting
  • There are details of demand forecasts, including the basis on which they are derived.
  • Parts of the network where there are known or expected to be constraints are identified.
Upgrade work
  • There is analysis of upgrade options available and details of decisions made to meet the levels of service.
  • There is a description of the programme of planned upgrade works.
  • A prioritisation methodology or policy for upgrade work is described.
Maintenance and renewal
  • There is a description of maintenance and renewal programmes.
  • There are maintenance and renewal policies to direct programmes.
  • Maintenance and renewal policies, practices, and programmes are based on analysis of the costs, benefits and risks of alternative maintenance and renewal options over the life of the assets.
Condition monitoring
  • There are details of condition monitoring policies and programmes.
  • There is justification of condition monitoring practices, including evidence that Ontrack has sought to optimise practices and programmes.
3.5 Risk management
  • Critical assets, associated risks, and risk management strategies have been identified.
  • There is a risk management framework.
3.6 Financial forecasts
  • There are financial forecasts for the planned maintenance, renewal, upgrade, and condition monitoring work.
  • The financial forecasts show planned spending for at least the next 10 years.
3.7 Performance evaluation and improvement
  • There are clear processes for:
    1. Reviewing progress against the asset management plan.
    2. Reviewing and reporting progress against performance targets and measures (particularly targets and measures relating to levels of service).
  • There are improvement programmes for asset management processes and techniques.
Detailed criteria for demonstrating that long-term planning has been followed
(bracketed numbers indicate the link between these criteria and criteria in the previous table)
3.8 Reporting against targets and measures (3.7(b))
  • The organisation reviews and reports on progress against performance targets and measures.
  • The organisation has controls in place to ensure that reviews and reports are complete, accurate, and useful.
3.9 Measuring and evaluating progress
  • The organisation reviews its progress against its asset management plan (3.7(a)).
  • The organisation evaluates its progress against planned improvement programmes (3.7).
  • The organisation measures progress against maintenance and renewal programmes (3.4).
3.10 Policy implementation (3.4)
  • It is clear how policies for maintenance and renewal are implemented (3.4).

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