Asset Management Internal Audit Programme Guide

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Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2





Asset Management



Internal Audit Programme Guide


















This guide has been funded by the Housing Corporation

IGP Database Ref No G01
-
20213




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Introduction


This guide provides advice on matters designed to assist the auditor in developing an i
nternal audit
programme on
asset management
. It is the responsibility of the auditor to determine which elements
of the guide are incorporated into their internal audit programme. The tables setting out the key

control
and expected tests do

not imply that
all the items contained in the tables need to be included in the
internal audit programme developed by the auditor.


Preamble

Asset Management is not just about property maintenance (which is covered in the IAPG on Planned
Maintenance) but affects all part
s of the housing association including development, demand for
properties, housing management, finances as well as the area of maintenance. It should be noted that
every association has its own challenge in this area as asset management is at the heart of
each
association’s core business.


Asset management can be best described as ensuring that the stock provided by the association, or
planned for the future through acquisition or construction, fully contributes towards the achievement of
the association’s

strategic objectives. This can only be achieved if it is affordable, of the right type and
location and is of an adequate standard. The later requirement will also be considered as part of this
guide when we look at the requirement over the medium to long

term to meet Decent Homes
standards (see specific section below). Where stock no longer makes this contribution then questions
need to be asked as to whether further investment in the stock will solve the problem or whether other
options should be conside
red. Although this definition focuses on stock one should also include in the
definition all land and property assets that the housing association owns or manages.


Asset Management is also important because the very nature of property and land is that it
is
expensive and not portable. Buildings are expected to have long useful lives and can be expensive to
maintain or alter them to meet changing needs. Furthermore, the requirements of people who need
these homes are subject to more rapid change because of
changing demographics, demand and
expectations.


One should also not lose sight that the issue of asset management has come more to the fore in
recent years with increases in low demand and abandoned properties in areas where housing
associations have tra
ditionally operated. Such challenges are not just limited to certain geographical
areas, but may strike any housing association, for example, particular neighbourhoods may become
unpopular to prospective tenants or particular property types such as bedsits
. Low demand is likely to
be characterised by the following:




Higher void levels;



Higher turnover of tenants;



Regular offer refusals;



Little or no interest in an area on the housing needs register.


Such stock might include:




Bed
-
sit or shared accommodatio
n


many associations are converting this type of property;



Unpopular former local authority estates;



Victorian terraced housing now requiring substantial repair and improvement


mainly in inner city
locations; and



Sheltered accommodation where there is a

surplus of supply.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2



The challenge is to both identify current and predict future trends, allowing informed decisions to be
made regarding the property/land concerned. Action that can be taken includes transfer to another
association (whose objectives bett
er suite the type/location of the property), demolish and rebuild, sell
or remodel the property to better meet current/future needs. Option appraisal is a key technique to
ensuring that the right action is taken. To aid this process some associations categ
orise their stock
into different groupings, an example of which is as follows:




Good condition and in high demand;



Poorer condition which could be improved with investment;



Property which no longer meets the association’s objectives and disposal should be
considered.


In identifying such properties, one should not underestimate the role of tenants. Their views may
provide additional evidence of particular problems with an area or within their homes such as poor
design or disrepair.


Decent Homes is the name

of the government’s commitment to ensuring that every public sector
home in England reaches a defined standard by 2010. This is seen as the minimum standard that
associations’ homes must meet. In order to achieve this standard the following criteria must
be met:



Current statutory minimum standard for housing such as provision of a bath or shower and wash
hand
-
basin with hot and cold water;



It is in a reasonable state of repair;



It has reasonably modern facilities and services; and



It provides a reasonable
degree of thermal comfort.


Housing Corporation requirements


Aspects of the Housing Corporation’s Regulatory Code can only be met with a good asset
management strategy. The Code requires that associations are viable, well governed and well
managed. Paragr
aph 3.4 of the code requires associations to develop and manage good quality
homes that seek to meet people’s current and future needs. Furthermore, responsive and effective
maintenance, continued ongoing demand, and investment in existing stock are all id
entified as
requirements under the Code. Details and background are available on the Housing Corporation’s
website.


As well as the Regulatory Code, other aspects of the asset management strategy are also of
interested to the Housing Corporation including
sustainability, formal consent to dispose of
land/property and working within local authority strategies.


Audit Commission requirements


KLOE3: Stock investment asset management
-

includes repairs and maintenance, issued in 2004
covers the following areas

in relation to asset management:



access, customer care and user focus;



diversity;



capital improvement, planned and cyclical maintenance, major repair works;



value for money.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2




Areas covered by this Guide
.


This Internal Audit Programme Guide covers the f
ollowing areas:
-




High level control framework



Stock condition



Option Appraisal



Management Information


Key Risk Areas


Failure to put in place, and enforce, robust systems of control in the area of Asset Management
exposes the organisation to a number of
risks. These areas are many and varied but include the
following:


Risk

Potential Implications

The Association’s stock does not
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c潮摩to渠na瑡t慳攮




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䍡Cry湧畴u湡灰r潰r慴攠牥灡rs.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2



The auditor should also review their own organisation’s

risk map for risks relevant to this review.


The Internal Auditor should also obtain details of the most recent Housing Corporation / Audit
Commission Inspection along with the Housing Corporation’s most recent Assessment against
compliance with the Regul
atory Code standards to identify whether any weaknesses were highlighted
in the area of asset management.


Other Sources of Information


There are a number of useful publications available on this topic, details of which are given below.




“Housing Finance
Manual”


CIPFA (2005)



“Asset Management Pack”


NHF (2004)



“Understanding our assets”


Housing Corporation (2003)



“Property and Procurement: New Tools for Housing Association Board Members”


Housing
Corporation (2003)



“Decent Homes Standard”


Housing C
orporation (2003)



“Managing the assets: an introductory guide to asset management for housing associations”


NHF (2003)



“Stock Condition Surveys: a guide for registered social landlords”


NHF (2002)



“Strategies for asset management”


NHF (2001)



“A Decen
t Home: The definition and guidance for implementation”


OPDM (2000)


Useful Websites




Housing Corporation


www.housingcorp.gov.uk



Housing Corporation Bank of Good Practice
-

www.bankofgoodpractice.org



National Housing Federation
-

www.housing.org.uk



Ch
artered Institute of Housing
-

www.cih.org



Audit Commission
-

www.audit
-
commission.gov.uk



The Communities & Local Government


www.communities.gov.uk


Disclaimer

This guide has been prepared to provide persons carrying out internal audit reviews with an
u
nderstanding of the risks and controls associated with the activity covered in this guide. This guide
does not purport to be a detailed technical guide on the activity itself. The information and guidance
contained in this guide are provided for general in
formation purposes only and do not constitute legal
or other professional advice
.
Users of this guide are responsible for establishing whether there has
been any new guidance and/or regulatory change since this guide was prepared. This guide should
not be
relied upon to identify all strengths and weaknesses that may exist or to identify all instances of
fraud or irregularity.

HAIAF does not accept responsibility for any loss that may arise from reliance on
information contained in this guide, or from its om
ission or unavailability. Specific professional advice
must be sought in respect of any particular query.


All references to publications and legislation are applicable in England only.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2



1.

OVERALL CONTROL FRAMEWORK


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Cont
rol or Process

Suggested Tests

1.1

The asset
management strategy
does not deliver the
requirements of the
housing association’s
corporate and
financial plans.

1.1.1

The association has a
strategy for asset
management which meets
laid down standards.

(a)

Obta
in a copy of the
strategy and ensure that
it includes:



An understanding that
property assets are
held to meet the
objectives of the
association and how
this will be
demonstrated on an
ongoing basis;



How the association
can adequately fund
its asset managem
ent
objectives from its
business plan;



How the association
will meet the Housing
Corporation’s
requirements in
respect of equality and
diversity;



Consideration of all
aspects of asset
management in
relation to the
association;



How the association’s
asset m
anagement
strategy integrates
into the association’s
risk management
strategy; and



How strategies for the
management and
maintenance of its
existing assets and for
the purchasing of new
property are inter
-
linked.



Examines the current
and future demand for
the property it owns;



Specifies the standard



Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Cont
rol or Process

Suggested Tests

of accommodation
currently provided by
the association and
what this will be in the
future (link to Decent
Homes)




NB. The Strategy need not be
one single document.
Alternatively, the association
may wish to
ensure that asset
management policies and
activities are embedded ad
written into all other areas of
relevant activity. Even if this is
the case, the association will
still need to demonstrate the
above points.

(b)

Review Board minutes
and ensure that the
stra
tegy has been
approved by the
association’s Board.

(cF

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摩sciplin敳.





Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Cont
rol or Process

Suggested Tests


1.1.2

The assets of the association
further its objectives

(a)

Review the objectives set
by the Board and ensure
that they include:



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with the Association’s
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.


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cl敡r⁲敳灯湳ibili瑩敳⸠





Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Cont
rol or Process

Suggested Tests



1.3.2

All staff are informed of the
Decent Homes criteria

(a)

Confirm that there is a
process for
communicated the decent
homes criteria to all staff.

(b)

Review what has been
communicated and
ensure that it is
appro
priate.

1.4

The asset
management strategy
is not co
-
ordinated
with the business plan
which leads to
inadequate funds
being available for
work required

1.4.1

A long
-
term business plan
has been drawn up with
funds available for long
-
term
maintenance work.

L
ife
-
time
costing models with
appropriate assumptions are
used to cost planned
maintenance work over 30
years.

(a)

Obtain a copy of the
business plan and ensure
that it includes coverage
of long
-
term maintenance
work

(b)

Confirm that the business
plan content and
a
ssumptions is regularly
reviewed by an
independent and
competent third party.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


2.

STOCK CONDITION SURVEYS


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Control or Process

Suggested Tests

2.1

The absence of a
formal policy in
relation to the conduct
of surveys lea
ds to
inadequate up
-
to
-
date
data being available
on the housing stock.

2.1.1

Surveys are conducted
according to a defined cycle.


(a)

Confirm that there is an
approved strategy for
updating the stock
condition survey over a
pre
-
determined cycle.

(b)

Confirm that updates

of
the stock condition
survey have been
performed in accordance
with the approved cycle
(See (a) above).

2.2

The absence of
appropriate guidelines
for conducting stock
condition survey work
leads to inadequate
up
-
to
-
date data being
available on the
housing s
tock.


2.2.1

The level of stock surveyed
is adequate.


(a)


If a sample approach has
been adopted confirm
that the sample used for
the stock condition
survey has been chosen
on a representative
basis, taking account of
repair need and the scale
of the planned
mainte
nance programme
in the business plan.


2.2.2

The guidelines for data
collection for stock condition
surveys are adequate.


(a)

Confirm that the stock
survey work considers
the entire fabric of the
building in order to
properly assess planned
and cyclical maintenanc
e
requirement

(b)

Confirm that the stock
condition survey is based
on a consistent approach
to data collection and
that it is adequate in
scope.

(c)

Select a sample of
properties covered by the
most recent stock
condition work and
confirm that all relevant
details

have been
received and that stock
database is consistent
with the data collected
and supporting
paperwork.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Control or Process

Suggested Tests



(d)

For the most recent stock
condition survey confirm
that the data collection
schedule has been
complied with and that
remedial action is taken
on
slippage.

(e)

For the most recent stock
condition survey confirm
that the results are
subject to quality checks
either as part of in
-
house
process, or by the
approved contracts.

(f)

Using the sample at
2.2.2(
c)

confirm that the
required quality
assurance processes

were followed.

(g)

For the most recent stock
control survey work
confirm that the data was
graded according to the
level of priority for repair.


2.2.4

Guidelines for referring
response repair items, as a
result of stock condition
survey are adequate.

(a)

For t
he sample at
2.2.2(c) confirm that any
urgent repairs, that are
not the responsibility of
the tenant, were referred
to the response repair
team.


2.3

The stock condition
database is not
updated as and when
new information is
made available
outside the rou
tine
condition survey cycle
which leads to
inadequate up
-
to
-
date
data being available
on the housing stock.

2.3.1

Improvements as a result of
response repairs are
reflected on the stock
condition database.


(a)

Confirm that suitable
arrangements are in
place to ensu
re that
improvements arising
from response repairs
lead to the database
being updated.

(b)

Select a sample of
response repairs and
confirm that the stock
condition database
records have been
appropriately updated.





Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Control or Process

Suggested Tests

2.3.2

Procedures are in place to
ensure that prop
erty defects
identified from housing
management property visits
are included on the stock
condition database.


(a)

Confirm that adequate
procedures are in place
to ensure that housing
management staff notify
maintenance staff of any
property defects identified

during property/tenant
visits (e.g. use of a
standard “defects”
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㈮㌮2

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㈮2

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慣桩eve搮d
(
NOTE)
This will not apply to
all RSLs since larger
RSLs will

carry out
this work in
-
house.



2.4.1

The outsourcing of stock
condition survey work is
subject to a competitive
tendering process in
accordance with standing
orders and financial
regulations.


(a)

Review the most recent
tendering exercise and
confirm that
competit
ive
tendering

requirements
were complied with in full,
and that best
procurement practice was
followed.






Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2



3.

OPTION APPRAISAL


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Control or Process

Suggested Tests

3.1

Stock which does not
meet the association’s
current o
r future
objectives is not
identified which leads
to planned
maintenance costs
that were not required.

2.4.2

The association regularly
reviews the reasons for
holding housing stock by:




Reviewing maintenance
and management costs;




Current and future
demand for t
he
accommodation


(a)

Confirm that a regular
review mechanism is in
place for identifying and
actioning poorly
performing stock.

3.2

A formal options
appraisal is not
undertaken on stock
identified as not
meeting the current or
future needs of the
associa
tion, which
leads to planned
maintenance costs
that were not required.

3.2.1

Where stock is found to have
higher costs or low current or
future demand, options are
examined such as:




Remodelling the
accommodation;




Demolishing the building
and rebuilding;




Selling the property/land;




Transfer the
dwelling/stock to another
association



(a)

Confirm that there are
procedures in place for
undertaking option
appraisal.

(b)

Confirm there
are

suitable review and
approval mechanisms for
the options appraisal
process and t
hat for a
sample of appraisals
review and approval is
fully documented.

3.3

Failure to take timely
and appropriate action
based on the results
of the option appraisal
leads to planned
maintenance costs
that were not required.

3.3.1

Disposal decisions follow
bes
t practice which includes:




Assessing and consulting
on the political
dimensions of disposal;




Obtaining residents views
and the wider community;




Assessing the impact on
the local community;




Assessing any financial
implications;




Identifying how the
proc
eeds from the
disposal will be used;




Identifying any other
problems.

(a)

Review a sample of
option appraisals and
ensure that decisions
taken have taken into
account all relevant
aspects and have fully
consulted with tenants
and other stakeholders.
This
should also be
reflected within any
documented procedures.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Control or Process

Suggested Tests


3.3.2

Decisions are based on
documented and well thought
out evidence which is
appropriately reviewed and
consulted upon prior to any
final decision being taken.


(a)

Review a sample of
option appraisals a
nd
ensure that all options are
considered and that any
conclusions drawn are
based on sound evidence
for which there is an
adequate audit trail.

(b)

Confirm that for a sample
of appraisals that the final
decision taken is actually
followed through as
intended
and on a timely
basis.




Asset Management

Inter
nal Audit Programme Guide

Revised January 2007


Version 2


4.

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION


Key Risk / Implication

Expected Key Control or Process

Suggested Tests

4.1

Stock condition reports
are made not available
on a regular and timely
to senior and middle
management and as a
result decisions may

be taken without
having all the
necessary information
required to inform
those decisions.

4.1.1

Regular reports are produced
and presented to committee
and senior management on
stock condition to enable
informed decision making.

(a)

Review management
informa
tion and ensure
that regular reports are
received by the board
which shows any stock
which:




Has low demand;




Higher than average
maintenance costs;




Higher than average
management costs;




Does not accord with
the association’s
objectives

(b)

Review a sample o
f
reports and ensure that
timely action is taken in
regard to poorly
performing stock and that
the Board is advised of
such action being taken.

(c)

Trend reports are
regularly produced and
reviewed which show:




Changes in
demography of the
area served by the
a
ssociation;




resident satisfaction
and associated
expectations




Stock condition;




Abandoned
properties;




cost of repairs;




Housing needs
register, property
turnover and void
rates