How strategic is the management of local authority property assets?

Dyson, Laura (2007) How strategic is the management of local authority property assets? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This project aimed to investigate how strategic the management of property is within local authorities. Strategic property management encompasses many factors which can influence how well property is managed overall. An important requirement of this is the use of performance measurement such as benchmarking or space charging, and a suitable property information system on which to support this. The management structure of an organization is also a key point with the need to clearly separate the long term and short term running of property. A property strategy needs to be implemented authority wide in order for the management of such property to be successful. Weaknesses previously found in the management of local authority property include inadequate property data collection, the treating of property as a free resource with no space charging incentives to use space efficiently, and the short term approach of some authorities not considering the benefits property could bring in the future. The primary research conducted for this project showed that the situation now does show some aspects of the management of local authority property becoming more strategic. Property records were found to be relatively complete and stored on computer based systems making a good basis for property decisions, though financial data held on the property portfolio was found to be lacking in some cases (only 65% satisfactory or complete records). Property assets were found to be generally valued on a regular basis, and the management of property is included on the majority of council's strategic plans. However, improvement can still be made with the further use of performance measurement, and a clearer divide between the management of long and short term management. Influences found on the standard of property management achievable were the lack of financial and human resources, and the fact that government guidance was not believed to be helpful by many of those surveyed. Recommendations following this project firstly relate to the structure of management in place, with more distinction needing to be made between the long and short term outlook for the property, both dealt with in separate teams where possible. Any additional use of performance measurement can also increase the strategic viewpoint of property management and consequently enable the full value and potential of buildings to be realised. An improvement in relevant government guidance is also recommended, particularly for the smaller authorities, in order to assist in the better application of strategic property management. In addition, if standard ways of recording property information can be introduced, this can facilitate further the benchmarking of property data and performance against other authorities.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: ?? EDAM ??
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

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