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ONTRACK Welcomes OAG Report On Rail Asset Management

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
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1 July 2008 - A report by the Office of the Auditor General has helped rail infrastructure agency ONTRACK to formalise its approach to the management of its assets, Chief Executive William Peet said today.

"When ONTRACK became responsible for the network in 2004, we inherited not only a decade of under-investment in rail infrastructure, but a complete absence of any formalised asset planning.

"In that sense, we were starting out a long way behind the eight-ball and with an urgent need to put our energies and resources into managing safety on the network rather than documenting assets, updating codes and planning for the future.

"The Auditor General's comments about the work we have ahead of us haven't come as a surprise and his report's acknowledgement that we are making progress, is welcome.

"We took on board the early feedback we received from the audit which means a number of the report's recommendations have already been, or are in the process of being implemented.

"The report notes that we have started work on a long-term plan for the network. It acknowledges that the task is both significant and complex and that we are improving our information technology systems to help us meet the goals set," said Mr Peet.

ONTRACK has more than 800 code documents relating to operating and managing the rail infrastructure. These cover a wide range of subjects including track, bridges, tunnels, signalling, telecommunications and rail vehicle operation.

"We have been updating them according to their priority. For example, as we've been working on major urban rail projects and increasing the number of bridges being renewed, we've been updating the corresponding code documents.

"We've deliberately shelved updating other codes for the moment because they will inevitably change as part of the re-structuring of the rail industry that will occur.

"We also expect that the new industry structure will be more conducive to a collaborative approach to asset management. The National Rail Access Agreement that governed the relationship between ourselves and Toll NZ hindered the setting of service levels and restricted the resource available to asset management planning to a minimum," said Mr Peet.

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