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Principles, standards and guidelines for lessee assets

​There are three principles that guide lessee asset management.

Each principle has accompanying standards and guidelines. The implementation of these standards and guidelines will support the goal of agile, adaptable, value-for-money lessee assets.

  • The standards are compulsory and are required to be applied by all agencies to the management of any lessee assets purchased subsequent to the publication of these standards and guidelines. The soonest practicable opportunity to apply the standards will typically be when agencies lease and fit-out new office accommodation or undertake a significant refurbishment of their existing office accommodation.
  • The guidelines are provided to assist agencies in applying the standards and in asset planning and management generally. We suggest that agencies consider the overall intent of the guidelines when they come to apply them to their organisation’s lessee assets. The size of an agency’s office portfolio and the nature of its lessee assets will influence how it applies them.

The successful application of these standards and guidelines will require that agency culture, and the organisational thinking that underpins it, is focused on long term value. This will involve corporate reporting, finance, procurement and the asset ‘owners’ (eg the facilities team) employing a common approach and integrating workflow relating to lessee assets.

1. Agile infrastructure

Common specifications of assets and infrastructure will maximise the effectiveness of the workspace, allowing teams to be efficiently structured around projects and activities.

Agile infrastructure

2. Adaptability and reuse

The fixed capital assets (such as joinery, operable walls, partitioning, and wall and ceiling mounted equipment) of an agency relocating out of a building will remain in place while the asset book value transfers to the new occupying agency. Common asset standards and specifications will, over time, have the effect of minimising any significant differences in condition and transfer values during relocations of agencies.

Adaptability and reuse

3. Value focus

Whole-of-life cost, quality and use will be considered alongside price when planning, assessing and purchasing assets.

Value focus

The principles set planning and quality expectations and focus assets on best value for money. The principles ensure that asset planning incorporates flexibility and the ability for agencies to plan, acquire, maintain, reallocate, relocate, reuse, adapt, replace and dispose of assets, maintaining an efficient whole-of-life view.

Focus of the standards and guidelines

As the vast majority of the office accommodation and public interface accommodation that is occupied by agencies is leased rather than owned, the focus of these standards and guidelines is the management of assets in the leasehold environment. That is, on assets owned by the lessee and not by the landlord (government agencies do not typically own and maintain those assets which are usually considered to be landlord or lessor assets, eg ducted air conditioning and heat pumps). These assets will be referred to as lessee assets.

Certain office and public interface space is excluded from the scope of these standards and guidelines. The excluded space is either integrated with agencies operational areas, for example, office and public interface areas within courts of law; or is on designated land, for example, New Zealand Defence Force land, and is not able to be used by other agencies.

While these excluded spaces are out of scope, the individual agencies affected can, where they wish, still opt to apply the standards and guidelines to guide them towards ‘best appropriate practice’.

Assets in scope

Lessee assets in scope comprise two types of assets:

  • Hard fit-out or lessee fixed capital assets (also known as tenant improvements, leasehold/lessee improvements and lessee fixtures). Items include conventional and operable walls, fixed partitions, fixed joinery and wall and ceiling mounted equipment (excluding all audio-visual equipment), and security system assets. These assets are typically immovable. These can also include modifications to base building services to facilitate the lessees fit-out, together with base building changes such as additional stairs.
  • Soft fit-out assets or furniture, fittings and equipment. Items include office furniture such as desks and associated screens, chairs, tables; audio-visual equipment; and signage. These assets are typically moveable.

Lessee assets in the context of these standards and guidelines include both capital and non-capital assets. Capital assets either have a value (individually or as a group of assets) that meets an agency’s capital asset threshold as set by its Fixed Asset Policy document or they are items purchased from the agency’s capital account. Regardless, they are assets that must be capitalised and recorded in the agency’s fixed asset register (FAR). Non-capital assets, also known as attractive or expensed assets, are assets bought from operating budgets and that do not meet the agency’s capital asset threshold as set by its Fixed Asset Policy. In the context of these standards and guidelines they will typically be soft fit-out assets.

Assets not in scope

  • ICT assets such as desktop hardware, software, storage and supporting assets such as printers ICT data and telecommunications cabling
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Lessee assets that are leased.
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