The Perth Region Alliance (PRA) is an alliance between the Water Corporation and Programmed Facility Management. PRA provides operations and maintenance to all water and wastewater distribution assets for the distance of 150km from the northern suburbs of Perth to the Mandurah-Murray region. This spans over 800,000 properties; 24,000km of water and wastewater mains; 88 water and 690 wastewater pump stations; 133 reservoirs and tanks; and 150,000+ wastewater access chambers.
PRA has 379 staff and an operating budget of $75m per annum. It uses a three-limb contract model, with direct costs paid, an agreed margin and additional pain/gain share based on actual outturn costs.
The majority of the works are self-delivered by employees engaged by PRA. Specialist subcontractors are engaged for minor works throughout the region.
Since its formation, PRA has focused on safety and on implementing a stable industrial environment to meet efficiency targets. Today the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) at PRA is zero and the serious injury frequency rate (SIFR) is 50% lower than the performance 12 months ago. This has been achieved through a series of initiatives committing to Zero Harm. In parallel, the PRA set about achieving tri-certification of the safety, quality and environmental systems to the Australian Standard requirements. Work commenced on the tri-certification of PRA in April 2012 and tri-certification was successfully achieved in May 2013.
The existing enterprise agreements expired within four months of PRA forming. The acquisition of the two existing service companies was complex because each company had an agreement with a different union. Programmed FM is very experienced with industrial agreements and implemented new and flexible agreements with the unions with a minimum amount of disruption to service delivery. At no time during the negotiations did the PRA miss any key KPIs as a result of industrial action. The new EA negotiations commenced in March 2012, across both Civil and M&E disciplines. By May 2012, ‘in principle’ agreements had been reached with all unions, with the agreements ratified in August and September of 2012. In May 2012, Programmed FM saw the first of three Indigenous employees complete their Water Industry Worker Certificate.
Flexible rostering was implemented to enable a more efficient coverage of the peak times in the water and wastewater networks. An employee engagement survey was undertaken in February 2013 and a detailed succession planning process has started.