The Government of Canada, as the largest landlord in the country, is being told to shape up with it comes to managing its own office buildings.
According to an internal audit that took three years, Ottawa’s management is so unreliable that taxpayers have to deal with billions yearly in unfunded maintenance costs, says Blacklock’s Reporter .
“The Government of Canada’s real property portfolio is aging, deferred maintenance costs are increasing and the condition and functionality of the assets are declining at an accelerated rate,” said the Horizontal Fixed Asset Review .
“The status quo is no longer an option as it is no longer sustainable. The review, therefore, recommends the government transform how it does business and what it delivers.”
The audit, which the Treasury Board called “the most extensive study of the management of federal property in over 35 years,” said the government’s managers have deferred $20 billion worth of basic maintenance, a figure “expected to grow by approximately $2 billion per year.”
Building management by the feds was rated “inefficient” and “unreliable” with a “lack of profile, leadership and oversight,” and that, on average, it took nine years to sell surplus property.
The audit found that 16% of federal buildings were in “poor” condition with 2% were “critical.”
“The average age of Crown-owned assets is 49 years,” said the audit.
“The highest liability for health and safety risks arising from issues such as system failures, building closures or interruption to the delivery of programs and services are commonly associated with buildings that are fifty years of age and older.”