IFAC's International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board Issues Exposure Draft on Disclosure of External Assistance
November, 30th 2006
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has issued an exposure draft (ED) designed to strengthen the disclosure of financial information about external assistance, such as emergency assistance and development aid received by governments and government agencies in developing and other countries.
ED 32, Financial Reporting under the Cash Basis of Accounting - Disclosure Requirements for Recipients of External Assistance, proposes that the financial statements of recipients of external assistance disclose the total amount of external assistance received, used, and available during the reporting period. These disclosures will increase the transparency of the financial statements of recipients and contribute to greater accountability by the recipients of such assistance. ED 32 also encourages a range of additional disclosures which will further enhance the usefulness of the financial statements in the assessment of the financial position of recipients and of their use of external assistance.
"ED 32 reflects an approach that enhances the accountability of financial statements, does not impose an inappropriate burden on reporting entities, and can be justified on a cost-benefit basis across a wide range of jurisdictions. While establishing basic accountability requirements, it is also responsive to the ability of individual recipients to comply with the proposed requirements," emphasizes IPSASB Chair Philippe Adhar.
ED 32 was developed following consideration of responses that the IPSASB received to a previous exposure draft, ED 24, a document with the same title which was issued in February 2005. ED 32 proposes amendments to address constituents' concerns regarding the previous exposure draft.
"Respondents to the previous exposure draft, ED 24, expressed concern that many recipients of external assistance would find compliance with the proposed requirements onerous. ED 32 responds to those concerns by establishing an appropriate balance between required components and those which are encouraged. It has been developed after extensive consultation with our Consultative Group and other constituents," explains Mr. Adhmar.
Before a final International Public Sector Accounting Standard is approved, ED 32 will be field tested. The IPSASB has secured the support of key regional and international organizations for this testing.
How to Comment Comments on the ED are requested by March 31, 2007. The ED may be viewed by going to http://www.ifac.org/EDs. Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to the attention of the IPSASB Technical Director at +1 (212) 286-9570 or mailed to IFAC, 545 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA. All comments will be considered a matter of public record and will ultimately be posted on IFAC's website.
IFAC is the worldwide organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC's current membership consists of approximately 160 professional accountancy bodies in 120 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. In addition to setting international public sector financial reporting standards through the IPSASB, IFAC, through its independent standard-setting boards, sets ethics, auditing and assurance, and education standards. It also issues guidance to encourage high-quality performance by professional accountants in business.