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Glossary - B

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Backlog Maintenance

Maintenance that was programmed to occur, or became necessary, in a particular time period, but was not carried out in that period. Source: L2

Balance Sheet

A report outlining the assets, liabilities and equity (net worth), at a specific date. Also known as a Statement of Financial Position. In governmental accounting, it is known as the Statement of Net Assets. Source: A6 (modified)

Balance Sheet Management

The management of all resources (particularly assets) to ensure the desired delivery outputs, especially where such delivery impacts the long term, sustained "wealth" of the organization (through an increase in assets or equity and/or a reduction of liabilities). Source: A4


An adopted measure of performance against which the relative performance of other similar, external systems, procedures or entities can be compared. Source: A1

A point of reference from which quality or excellence is measured. Source: M1


A systematic measurement of organizational performance over time and/or against other equivalent organizations or industry norms. Benchmarking comes in two types:

Output: here the measuring stick is what the organization delivers - lane miles of road recapped in a year, etc. It often is efficiency oriented, measuring the cost per unit of output.

Best Practice: An ongoing systematic process to search for and introduce international best practice into an organization, in such a way that all parts of the organization understand and achieve their full potential. The search may be for products, services, business practices and processes of competitors or those organizations recognized as leaders, in the industry or in the specific processes chosen. The benchmark used here is the range and level of best practices actually incorporated into the organization. Source: B2

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

A technique for the evaluation of projects where all benefits and costs, both direct and indirect, community-wide as well as organizational, are considered. Where possible, all benefits and costs should be quantified in financial terms. Where this is not possible the benefits and costs should be quantified in non-financial terms or described so as to identify the impact of the benefit or cost. Source: T2

Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR)

The sum of the present values of all benefits including residual value if any, over the facility life cycle, divided by the sum of the present values of all costs. Simply, it is discounted benefits divided by discounted costs. The ratio needs to be 1 or greater for the project to proceed (meaning that the benefits exceed the costs). However, it is not an ideal decision support tool as the ratio may vary by treating costs as negative benefits, or vice versa. Source: T2

Best Appropriate Practice (BAP)

"Best Appropriate Practice" for an organization is that goal of excellence in Total Asset Management Planning the organization can realistically hope to achieve over time, bearing in mind existing and ongoing organizational resource constraints. This target differs from the concept of "world's best practice' in that "Best Appropriate Practice" is defined by analysis of costs and benefits achievable to the organization given its operating context. Source: Roger Byrne, GHD

Best Practice

The co-operative way in which firms and their employees undertake business activities in all key processes; leadership, planning, customers, suppliers, community relations, production and supply of products and services, and the use of benchmarking. These practices, when effectively linked together, can be expected to lead to sustainable world class outcomes in quality and customer service, flexibility, timeliness, innovation, cost and competitiveness. Source: A1


A formal offer, made in writing, to execute works or provide goods or services for a stated price and specified terms. Source: G3

An offer to do work based on bid documents and comprising a bided amount, returnable schedules and correspondence received from a bider. Source: N1


A failure or malfunction of, or damage to, an asset, facility, piece of equipment, machine or component leading to loss of, or diminished, function, service, health and safety, or security, requiring to be made good within a predetermined time frame. Source: D1

Breakdown Maintenance

Those activities which are associated with the repair or servicing of site features, buildings and plant or equipment which have become inoperable or unusable because of the failure of component parts. Source: D1


An outline of the priorities and plans for the coming year, expressed in terms of financial information and non-financial performance information. Governmental budgets serve three purposes: 1) to set public policy, 2) to act as a legislative control on taxing and spending by the executive branch, and 3) to serve as a financial planning tool. In most public sector organizations, budget appropriations have the force of law in governing the raising of revenues and the authorization to spend. Source: S3 (modified)

Budget Rationalization

Ranking projects or works included in the budget, in the order of maximum return on investment, taking into account the immediate cash flow and the organization's ability to meet this "optimal" investment program.


Any roofed structure enclosing space and intended for use as a shelter for people, animals or property, or for recreational, industrial, commercial or other functions. Source: B3

Building Code

A set of requirements for use in the design, construction, alteration or demolition of buildings, setting out procedures, acceptable methods or materials and minimum or maximum values. A code obtains mandatory status through incorporation by reference in a statutory document. Source: B3

Building Fabric

Those components of a building that have a static function, primarily for climate control and spatial delineation such as walls and roofs. Source: L2

Building Management

The process required to achieve and sustain defined levels of building performance in functional, financial and technical terms, throughout the life of the building, from acquisition to disposal. Source: S3

Building Services

The electrical, electronic, mechanical and hydraulic services of a building that facilitate the movement of people, data, goods, energy or fluids throughout the building, and which are necessary to sustain the functional and operational performance of the building for its occupants and users. Source: S2

Building Site

Any place where building works occur. The works may be domestic, commercial, industrial civil or infrastructure work. It may not even refer to an area of land, as is the case with a refurbishment of a high-rise building. It may even relate to the installation or repair of a piece of plant or equipment. Source: A4

Business Plans

Annual department or business unit operating plans which specify the outputs to be provided, and their input resource costs for a defined period of time. Source: S3

Business Risk Exposure

The potential impact of economic, financial or social loss or gain, physical damage or injury or delay on the achievement of project objectives, delivery goals or management effectiveness. Source: N1