Gaborone — Facilities management services has been hailed as one option government can adopt in order to move away from the current piece-meal approach in public building maintenance.
This was said by Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Mr Moisiraele Goya at a facilities management conference exhibition in Gaborone on September 10
Facilities management was necessary because in past 10, government budgets had been constrained, resulting in new developments and maintenance programme being put on hold.
He said even though facilities management was not a new to Botswana, government uptake had been slow.
"Government is currently looking at various models which can demonstrate how in partnership with the private sector can work together to close the funding gap as well as to leverage on the private sector to provide the necessary skills to address challenges in funding and executing maintenance and new development programmes" he said.
Mr Goya revealed that a facilities management pilot project was recently completed at Otse Police College, where the service provider was appointed for a period of three years to implement the strategy.
He said the pilot site was chosen so that facilities management operational and contract lessons could be learned to further refine and purpose-build the roll-out across government.
In addition, the establishment of facilities management departments in all ministries had been facilitated, he said.
Mr Goya noted that government had over the years built, occupied and maintained offices, residential and other types of buildings for the purpose of meeting growing civil service needs.
He said in doing so, government had largely relied on its own maintenance resources to carry out services and works related to facilities management including general repairs and maintenance.
As the economy advanced, government was increasingly facing competing priorities which necessitated government-private sector collaboration to ensure services were delivered sustainably, timely and in a cost-efficient manner.
He urged participants to embrace such initiatives to ensure professionalism was integrated into facilities management services, on both the operational and development sides.
He applauded the organisers of the conference for the opportunity to get first-hand information on how facilities management could be successfully employed through open dialogue with experts.
The assistant minister said there were challenges many facilities management executives were trying to tackle including sustainability, building and plant optimisation and driving cost efficiencies.
Mr Goya said the conference provided a platform for government and private sector to join forces through open dialogue with industry experts to come together and plan the way forward.
It would pave the way for opportunities that would open up the country for further foreign direct investment, job creation, new businesses, skills and career development in the facilities management profession, he said.
He said both the public and private sectors recognised the importance of facilities management as a key enabler in delivering strategic and operational drivers in the economy.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>