July 20th, 2024

New legislation will impact sale of government properties


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 23, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The UCP is introducing new legislation that will impact the sale of government properties.

If approved, the Real Governance Act will ensure that “property sales across government are handled in a uniform manner and that government is given the option to hold onto property that has strategic value,” says the province.

It says the legislation would create more efficiencies by introducing a centralized approach and maximize the value of assets.

“By streamlining property sales, the RPG Act intends to help support priority projects across government, create revenue, and reduce red tape. These changes would modernize public property sales, improve accountability and transparency to Alberta’s taxpayers,” says the province.

The government’s asset portfolio is presently decentralized and the province says it’s not managed in a consistent way across its different ministries.

“This decentralized approach creates inefficiencies, making it challenging to support government’s priority investments and get the best value for Albertans taxpayer dollars,” says the province.

“For capital plan projects managed by Infrastructure, land is often acquired for program use. Examples include justice centres, health care centres, and mental health and addictions facilities. Once a facility is constructed, the land is transferred to the appropriate entity and control over the assets is no longer centrally maintained. Assets can then be disposed of through decentralized processes, creating inefficiencies and a missed opportunity to maximize asset value for Albertans.”

Property owned by provincial agencies, boards and commissions have a total replacement value estimated at $83 billion.

“With improved inventory awareness, government could streamline decisions, reduce red tape, and maximize the value of the real property portfolio,” says the province.

After the act is introduced for first reading, ministerial approval will be required for all sales, disposals or other transactions.

“Infrastructure will no longer transfer properties acquired for new capital projects. The Department will enter long-term lease arrangements with the programs and organizations that operate the facilities. We recognize the complexity in these arrangements and will be working with the respective departments to adopt a more centralized ownership approach,” adds the government.

“Going forward and to better support this approach, Infrastructure will now lease buildings and land instead of transferring or selling them for program use.”

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Kal Itea

What’s on her mind???

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