RICS global research project aims to cut cost of managing public sector assets

With the public sector seeking help managing the cost of its considerable assets, RICS, an international organization focusing on the property sector, is initiating an effort to find ways to significantly cut these expenses.

The U.S. Army Reserve’s facilities chief, at RICS’ Summit of the Americas in May, called on the private sector to use its resources to help public organizations control asset management costs. In response, RICS pledged to bring the global profession together in a major research effort aimed at finding concrete ways for those who manage public sector assets to cut these costs, as well as demonstrate the strategic and financial value these public servants contribute to the agencies they serve.

The effort will start with a series of roundtables around the globe aimed at collecting best practices and other data, and culminate in a series of recommendations launched at next year’s Summit of the Americas in Washington, D.C. in April. The first roundtable convened in Mexico City December 4, 2015. More roundtables will be held in the U.S., Canada and other countries starting early next year.

“Stewardship of resources remains a key focus of U.S. Army Reserve leaders as they seek to squeeze more from every dollar,” says James Balocki, the Army Reserve’s Chief of Infrastructure, who issued the call to action last spring. “The demand for Army Reserve forces has remained constant or increased, placing a premium on the need to maintain readiness, while our budgets have declined. This has forced us to seek new or innovative solutions to business practices that were routine just a few years ago.

“We manage nearly 42 million square feet of facilities around the world; they need to be well-operated and maintained to provide necessary capabilities for our formations,” Balocki continued. “This has become increasingly difficult. We believe the private sector is exceptionally well-postured to help us become even more cost-efficient and cost-effective, so we can maintain our readiness posture. We support and look forward to an effort to collect industry best practices associated with achieving meaningful cost savings in managing and operating public sector infrastructure.”

This RICS Roundtable Research Project will explore three core areas of asset management:

  • Asset Information
  • Asset Management Decision Making
  • Training and Education

The objective of this research is to explore each of these areas and begin to document practices that are moving the needle forward, in the U.S. and around the world.

Neil Shah, Americas managing director for RICS, said, “Our organization is proud to spearhead this effort by industry to help the public sector manage its considerable assets worldwide as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible while delivering excellent service to the publics it serves. The real estate and construction industry, across the public and private sectors, has the expertise and creativity to respond to this challenge. And RICS, as a public interest organization, has a duty to help save taxpayer dollars by harnessing the brightest and the best of the industry.”

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