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An Activity Management Plan (AMP) is a key document for councils seeking funding from the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP). 

More about the NLTP
More about the Business Case Approach

We’ve developed this AMP example tool to:

  • showcase examples of good practice in the development and review of AMPs
  • prompt you to reflect on how you use evidence and present information and analysis in your AMP.

The examples used in this tool are extracts from the Central Otago District Council’s AMP and the Whāngārei District Council’s AMP. Both these AMPs were submitted to the Transport Agency for review in December 2017. 

  • Why use these examples?

    The Central Otago District Council (CODC) had done a comprehensive review of its AMP in 2015. For the 2018 NLTP, the council’s AMP development team looked at the lessons learned. Through consistent, ongoing community engagement, the council determined that their strategic drivers were largely unchanged. Since they had reliable data, the council was able to update the forecasts of their development needs without having to redo all aspects of the analysis. A strong foundation enabled the CODC to apply fit-for-purpose effort, which is a key principle of the Business Case Approach.

    Review the CODC’s AMP(external link)

    The Whāngārei District Council’s AMP is being used due to the detailed options analysis it presents, using the right level of detail and allowing decision makers to use evidence to inform their thinking. The AMP has succinct descriptions of problems, benefits and consequences. It demonstrates clear thinking related to option identification and provides detailed analysis to substantiate its selection of the preferred programme.

    Review an extract from the WDC’s AMP [PDF, 19 MB]

    In the Introduction section, this tool also provides links to documents produced by the Tasman District Council and Auckland Transport . These are being showcased as examples of good practice in specific areas, as you’ll see below.

    To make the most of the AMP example tool, you may first need to familiarise yourself with AMPs. Here are some good places to get started:

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Icon of Dave

Hi! I’m Dave, an experienced business case developer at the NZ Transport Agency. You might recognise me from the Business Case Approach learning modules on Learning Zone. As you use the AMP example tool, I’ll pop up occasionally to provide context or highlight an example.

In this tool, you’ll see a list of high-level headings that can be found in most AMPs. These headings and their sub-topics are not meant to be exhaustive, but to demonstrate the type of critical thinking and analysis that go into developing a good AMP. Use the tool to spark thinking, but not as a template. Your council operates within a unique context and must tell its own story.

The AMP example tool allows you to select any heading you like and then look at detailed examples within it. Select a heading below to see an introduction and a list of information requirements. Then, you can select the examples to see detailed information.

  • Introduction

    An AMP should set out a three-year, 10-year and 30-year or longer view of planned expenditure and explain:

    • the national, regional and local strategic drivers for services
    • how your organisation will assess and manage transport demand
    • the critical assets and how these are accounted for in the proposed plan
    • what levels of service the investment provides
    • the planned balance between maintenance, renewals and capital investment proposed for the maintenance of existing assets and for any future needs
    • how these costs will be met.
    Icon of Dave

    Councils primarily use AMPs to demonstrate what they plan to invest in, so they can deliver to the levels of service expected by the community they serve.

    Most of your stakeholders are unlikely to read your full AMP. All of them however will appreciate a bird’s eye view of your detailed planning, and any insights and actions resulting from it. This is why many councils write an executive summary, either within their AMP or as a separate document. The executive summary can be used as the basis for subsequent advice to decision makers and to engage with different target audiences.

    An executive summary should be written in a way that is simple, concise and accessible to different audiences including non-technical readers, such as members of the community and other stakeholders. The idea is to help readers become quickly acquainted with your entire AMP, without having to read it all.

    If you’re writing an executive summary, write it to assure your readers that you are:

    • working within a sound strategic context
    • using evidence to support your identified problems, opportunities and constraints
    • using evidence to inform your decisions around the selection of a preferred programme and its specific mix of activities
    • delivering measurable benefits
    • addressing any key risks and assumptions.
    Fit for purpose icon.

    The executive summary of the Tasman District Council’s Transportation Activity Management Plan for 2018 checks all my boxes for what a good executive summary should do.

    Tasman District Council’s Transportation Activity Management Plan (see section 1)(external link)

    Also look at Auckland Transport’s Asset Management Plan summary. It’s a great example of how to communicate ideas of strategic importance to a wide audience.

    Auckland Transport’s Asset Management Plan summary(external link)

    Overall, your AMP should be able to demonstrate:

    • sound principles and processes for developing road maintenance and capital investment proposals, including identifying the best value-for-money options and timing of interventions
    • smart procurement and management practices that optimise the delivery of customer-focused activities in the most cost-effective manner.

    It all begins in the introduction of your AMP. The introduction should broadly cover the information listed below. Select each example to see some extracts from the introduction of the CODC’s AMP.

    Item Example
    1. State the legislation under which you are authoring this document.  You might identify the Local Government Act 1974, sections 316, 317 and 319.
    2. Demonstrate links to other strategic documents. CODC's AMP [PDF, 269 KB]
    3. Describe your policy on activity management; state its principles and objectives. CODC's AMP [PDF, 149 KB] 
    4. Summarise your activity management process. CODC's AMP [PDF, 144 KB]
    5. Detail your organisation’s and your region’s strategic drivers, values and vision. CODC's AMP [PDF, 229 KB]
    6. Explain how you have considered progressing the One Network Road Classification (ONRC) outcomes and measures. CODC's AMP [PDF, 305 KB]
    7. Summarise the case for change, stating why you are investing in transport. CODC's AMP [PDF, 168 KB]
    8. Explain your approval processes. CODC's AMP [PDF, 137 KB]
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  • Levels of service

    This part of your AMP provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate that your organisation has sufficiently considered ways to progress government priorities, regional priorities, and ONRC outcomes and measures.

    Icon of DaveIn its review of AMPs, the Transport Agency looks for assurance that your organisation has incorporated the ONRC in the way you assess gaps in levels of service.

    Use this part of your AMP to:

    • define the levels of service for the transportation activities that your organisation delivers
    • identify how the levels of service contribute to the Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS)
    • identify any local issues over and above national and regional priorities, that need to be addressed in managing your network.

    Select each example below to see the kind of information your AMP should include.

    Item Examples
    1. Identify your customers and stakeholders for the purposes of this plan. CODC's AMP [PDF, 181 KB]
    2. Provide evidence of having understood your customers’ needs. CODC's AMP [PDF, 318 KB]
    3. Demonstrate a logical connection between the Government Policy Statement for land transport (GPS), your RLTP, the ONRC customer outcomes, your community outcomes, and your organisation’s vision for transportation. CODC's AMP [PDF, 136 KB]
    4. Answer some key questions related to objectives, benefits and performance measures. CODC's AMP [PDF, 321 KB]
    5. Supplement the above with any evidence on current performance, based on performance measures identified, and drawing a connection between your data, GPS objectives and ONRC outcomes. CODC's AMP [PDF, 1.3 MB]
    6. Identify the long-term trends that may impact on CLoS. CODC's AMP [PDF, 87 KB]
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  • Demand and growth

    Your AMP should include growth forecasts and other factors that influence demand, population forecasts, the impact of these changes in demand on the transportation network, and how you propose to deal with these. Factors that influence customer demand on the transportation network include:

    • population growth and decline
    • demographic change
    • change in land use
    • economic growth and decline
    • modal change
    • development of recreational areas
    • future customer expectations.

    This tool does not provide any examples under this heading, because each region needs to tell its own story of demand and growth. In telling this story, your organisation needs to:

    • use robust data
    • demonstrate that you have gleaned some analytical insights from that data
    • demonstrate consistency with the projections in your region’s RLTP and any national level projections, such as, the Ministry of Transport Domain Plan or the Transport Agency’s Long Term View (LTV).

    Icon of DaveThe CODC’s AMP for 2018–21 tells a different story of demand and growth compared to their AMP for 2015–18. The CODC rewrote the section on demand and growth to capture the changing nature of the problems they faced because of extremely high growth. The CODC’s AMP now prioritises the need to respond to changes in transportation service demands driven by population growth. The issue is not one of overall capacity, but of providing expected levels of service across townships and collector roading networks.

    Fit for purpose icon.

    Note that the CODC have written their story on demand and growth in conjunction with their 30-year Infrastructure Plan. By doing this, the CODC have ensured that their high-level strategic planning is in line with their service delivery priorities.

    All in all, this is a good example of fit-for-purpose effort.

    Reflections from our audits: investment and asset management, a report by the Controller and Auditor-General, published in July 2017, states: ‘As the stewards of public assets, it is important that public entities have the right information, systems and people to manage assets responsibly and to the best of their ability. Having the right information, systems and people provides a good foundation for effectively managing assets to meet the needs of current and future generations.’

    The report also mentions that, ‘…public entities need to be realistic about the gaps in their information and systems. They need to understand the gaps and work hard to fill them to enable good asset management.

    Good information about assets is needed for public entities to monitor the performance of assets and manage them. If done well, public entities will make decisions that optimise services to people and they will realise the most value from their investment in the assets.’

    Full report by the Controller and Auditor-General(external link)

     

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  • Assumptions and risks

    Your AMP should provide details on significant assumptions and uncertainties. It should cover negative effects associated with operating the transport system (for example, noise, light spill, dust suppression issues and crashes) and risks, taking care to highlight any risks related to critical assets.

    Icon of DaveThe CODC retained mostly similar information on assumptions and risks in both their 2015 and 2018 AMPs.

    In between the two assessment periods, the strategic background changed significantly, including the GPS. Also, the CODC undertook significant work to identify and respond to the risks posed by resilience issues. However, the negative effects related to operating the transport system identified in the 2015 AMP remained broadly the same when the council was developing the 2018 AMP. 

    Fit for purpose icon.

    As a result, the 2018 AMP didn’t need to have risks and assumptions rewritten significantly.

    This is a good example of fit-for-purpose effort.

    Some AMP authors may include assumptions related to investment and financial forecasting along with information on funding options, as seen under the Programme expenditure section. However, in this tool, all information and examples on risk and assumptions are provided below.

    Select each example below to see more information.

    Item Examples
    1. Identify any significant assumptions you have made in developing this AMP. CODC's AMP [PDF, 249 KB]
    2. Identify any significant risks to the reliability and continuity of the levels of service provided by the transport network. CODC's AMP [PDF, 250 KB]
    3. Identify assumptions and risks related to investment and financial forecasting. CODC's AMP [PDF, 269 KB]

     

     

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  • Your assets and their management

    An AMP should provide an overview of asset information regarding the individual transport asset groups. Your organisation should have used the asset management software, Roading Assessment and Maintenance Management (RAMM), to record information regarding their roading assets.

    Reflections from our Audits: Investment and asset management, a report by the Controller and Auditor-General, published in July 2017, states: “Having robust information about physical assets and their condition helps public entities make effective and sustainable decisions about how their assets are managed. Public entities might not have detailed information about all of their assets, but they should have a good understanding of critical assets. Critical assets are those assets that, if they failed, would have a significant adverse effect on essential services.”

    Read the full report by the Controller and Auditor-General(external link)

    Select each example below to see more information.

    ItemExamples
    1. Provide a high-level summary of your transportation assets, including any information that may help readers understand the unique context within which your assets operate. CODC's AMP [PDF, 194 KB]
    2. Follow the high-level summary with a detailed description of each type of asset. CODC and WDC's AMPs [PDF, 433 KB]
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  • The programme of works

    Your AMP should be able to answer the following questions:

    • What is the evidence for identified problems and opportunities?
    • What is their relative importance and urgency?
    • Is there sufficient evidence to show that the programme and its elements have been optimised for the mix and timing of activities?
    • Is there an appropriate procurement approach to deliver value for money in the short, medium and long term?
    Icon of Dave

    The WDC AMP builds on strategic context to evaluate alternatives and options, systematically considering each problem statement set out in the strategic case.

    For the assessment of the data, peer group analysis and option assessment, the AMP uses a five-point traffic light rating system. This rating system is based on a qualitative assessment of the levels of service (LOS) and cost comparison data:

    Table showing rating system.

    For the analysis of options, the WDC has made a qualitative assessment of the effectiveness and impact on LOS. They have also considered the cost impact of the options and assessed the 30-year net present value (NPV) costs to determine the relative whole of life costs of each option.

    For options which represent the status quo, the WDC has shown the current work category budgets which have been averaged over the 2015–18 period. For all other options, they have shown the relative change in the annual average budget (2015–18 period) required to fund the option.

    Select each example below to see extracts from the WDC’s AMP.

    ItemExamples
    1. Identify the problems you are considering, indicating the benefits of addressing each problem and the consequences of not addressing the problems. WDC's AMP [PDF, 151 KB]
    2. Provide detailed evidence to support your description of problems, benefits and consequences. WDC's AMP [PDF, 1.8 MB]
    3. Set out options to be considered, indicating the benefits and consequences of each. WDC's AMP [PDF, 169 KB] 
    4. Explain how you have assessed the options being considered and identified preferred options. WDC's AMP [PDF, 1 MB]
    5. Identify the financial impact and the level of service impact for the preferred options. WDC's AMP [PDF, 335 KB]
    6. Provide evidence to show that the programme and its elements have been optimised for the mix and timing of activities. WDC's AMP [PDF, 249 KB]
    7. Provide evidence to demonstrate how your procurement delivers value for money. WDC's AMP [PDF, 571 KB]
    8. Provide any evidence of data quality. WDC's AMP [PDF, 378 KB]
    9. Detail how your organisation is responding to NZ Transport Agency’s technical audits. WDC's AMP [PDF, 163 KB]
    10. Explain your preferred programmes. WDC's AMP [PDF, 225 KB]
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  • Programme expenditure

    An AMP must provide detailed information on the investment and funding required for transportation activities. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • your revenue and financing policy
    • your funding sources
    • the value of your assets
    • development contributions
    • the apportionment of cost of capital works
    • historic and proposed maintenance costs
    • historic and proposed renewal costs
    • planned improvement costs.
    Icon of DaveDeveloping robust expenditure forecasts requires a comprehensive understanding of past and current costs. Your AMP should include both high-level summaries of programme expenditure and detailed costings for different services. The summaries and information must in turn align with your funding application in the Transport Agency’s system, Transport Investment Online (TIO).

    Under this heading, you may also include information on procurement. In this tool, all procurement-related examples are included under the previous heading, The programme of works.

    Select each example below to see more information related to programme expenditure.

    Item Examples
    1. Provide an overview of your financial forecasts. CODC's AMP [PDF, 325 KB]
    2. Explain your revenue and financing policy. CODC's AMP [PDF, 156 KB]
    3. Identify sources of funding. WDC's AMP [PDF, 268 KB]
    4. Identify the value of your assets, including depreciation costs. CODC and WDC's AMPs [PDF, 1.1 MB]
    5. Explain your policy on development contributions. CODC's AMP [PDF, 161 KB]
    6. Explain the apportionment of cost of capital works. N/A 
    7. Provide details on historic and proposed maintenance and renewal costs, as well as planned improvement costs. WDC's AMP [PDF, 1.1 MB]
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  • Improvement plan

    It’s critical to plan for the regular review of an AMP. This ensures that it remains relevant to the issues being addressed and adapts to new technologies and changes in industry practice.

    Each AMP should include an improvement plan to address gaps in knowledge and understanding. The improvement plan should set out key tasks for the next three years to improve the next review of the AMP. Tasks typically cover reviewing:

    • assumptions regarding forecast growth and demand
    • asset data (across all inventory and condition elements)
    • deterioration modelling
    • planning
    • optimisation
    • performance in delivering against the short-term plan (including timeliness, cost and quality)
    • level of service performance against target key performance indicators (KPIs)
    • delivery arrangements.
    Icon of DaveHere are some questions to think about when you write and review your organisation’s improvement plan:
    • Does the improvement plan identify deficiencies?
    • Does it set out how these deficiencies will be addressed before the next review?
    • Does it identify ways to provide a better line of sight from the GPS through to service delivery?
    • Does it identify ways how to better link the ONRC to your business systems – including collection of data and reporting on customer satisfaction, asset performance and technical measures?

    Select the example below to see more information.

    Item Example
    1. Provide detailed information on your plan for continuous improvement. CODC and WDC's AMPs [PDF, 1009 KB]
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Thank you for using the AMP example tool. In case you haven’t looked at the other headings in this tool, look at them now. If you’re leaving the tool, you can return anytime, pick a heading of your choice and explore some examples.

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