Dec 23, 2009 | English

In This Issue:

1. IPSASB Achieves Goal of Substantial Convergence with IFRSs
2. Outcomes of December IPSASB Rome Meeting
3. Exposure Draft Approved for Service Concession Arrangements
4. IFAC Launches Improved Publications Website
5. Share IPSASB eNews with Your Colleagues

1. IPSASB Achieves Goal of Substantial Convergence with IFRSs

The IPSASB has accomplished its strategic goal of achieving substantial convergence by December 31, 2009 with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), dated December 31, 2008. During its December 8-11 meeting in Rome a series of new or improved standards were approved.

Three of these new International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) deal with financial instruments:

  • IPSAS 28, Financial Instruments: Presentation
  • IPSAS 29, Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement
  • IPSAS 30, Financial Instruments: Disclosures

The effective date of these three standards is for annual financial statements covering periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013.

In the current global economic environment, when governments are increasingly raising debt through the capital markets as a result of their financial interventions in the private sector, the need for well-developed financial instruments standards is urgent and will enhance transparency.

The IPSASB also approved for issue, IPSAS 31, Intangible Assets. The effective date of this standard is for annual financial statements covering periods beginning on or after April 1, 2011.

In addition, the IPSASB approved for issue Improvements to IPSASs, which includes amendments to converge existing IPSASs with the relevant IFRSs of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and arise from improvements adopted by the IASB in May 2008. The effective date for this standard is for annual financial statements covering periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

The IPSASB issued another converged standard earlier this month - IPSAS 27, Agriculture.

The new standards will be available to download free of charge from the IFAC website (web.ifac.org/publications) in January 2010.

2. Outcomes of December IPSASB Rome Meeting

Meeting Highlights from the IPSASB's December meeting in Rome are now available in English, with plans to translate them into French and Spanish. At this meeting, the IPSASB addressed the following topics, among others:

  • Substantial Convergence with IFRSs - See Item 1 above.
  • Strategy - The IPSASB considered a number of aspects of its future strategy and operational plan for 2010-2012. Further to discussions initiated in September 2009, the need for public oversight of the IPSASB was identified as a desirable outcome and the IPSASB and IFAC will identify and evaluate oversight models in the future. Some key messages as far as strategic themes include the paramount importance of the public sector conceptual framework project and the urgent need to progress this project over the next three years. The IPSASB will continue with its strategy discussions in April at which time it will approve a work plan for 2010 while considering a longer term strategy and vision for the next few years.
  • Conceptual Framework: Consultation Paper - Phase 1 - The IPSASB continued its review of the responses to the Consultation Paper, Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities. The paper explores the objectives of financial reporting and the scope of financial reporting. It also examines the qualitative characteristics of information included in general purpose financial reports.

The December 2009 meeting was the last under the chairmanship of Mike Hathorn; his three-year term ending on December 31, 2009. In addition to the significant achievement of substantial convergence with IFRSs, his tenure has been marked by a communications and outreach program that has contributed to the significant momentum involving global interest in, and the adoption of, IPSASB standards. 

The next IPSASB meeting will be held in Toronto, Canada on April 6-9, 2010.

3. Exposure Draft Approved for Service Concession Arrangements

The IPSASB has approved the proposed guidance, Exposure Draft (ED) 43, Service Concession Arrangements: Grantors, with a proposed publication date in February 2010 and a comment period to June 30, 2010.

The proposed guidance addresses the grantor accounting issues that correspond to the operator accounting issues addressed in International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) interpretation 12, Service Concession Arrangements

The ED is a mirror of IFRIC 12 in terms of the scope of arrangements covered, terminology and criteria for asset recognition. Application Guidance is proposed for applying certain existing IPSASs to various parts of a service concession agreement, including asset, liability, revenue, and expense items.

The ED will soon be accessible at the Exposure Drafts and Consultation Papers section of the IFAC website at www.ifac.org/Guidance/EXD-Outstanding.php.

4. IFAC Launches Improved Publications Website

IFAC has launched a newly redesigned Publications and Resources website that offers users expanded functionality and interactivity, as well as greater access to IFAC's growing selection of publications and guidance.

Featuring over 200 titles developed by IFAC boards and committees, the new site features a more modern appearance, enhanced navigation, and updated item descriptions.

The scope of the site has also been broadened to include a wider range of IFAC publications and resource materials, including adoption and implementation support materials, exposure drafts, and consultation Papers.

The site can be accessed at web.ifac.org/publications. The section devoted to IPSASB publications and resources can be found at web.ifac.org/publications/international-public-sector-accounting-standards-board.

5. Share IPSASB eNews with Your Colleagues

The IPSASB issues regular eNews updates to keep you current on its activities and recent publications. Please forward this eNews to any interested colleagues and advise them to subscribe to IPSASB eNews by following these simple steps:

    1. Go to the eNews sign-up page at http://www.ifac.org/E-news/index.tmpl.
    2. Enter your email address, name, and country.
    3. Select "Public Sector eNews" from the check list as well as any other eNews alerts that you would like to receive.

You will receive the next issue of the IPSASB eNews directly into your inbox.

For more information about any of the items mentioned above or other information about the IPSASB, please contact: communications@ifac.org or visit the IPSASB's home page at www.ipsasb.org.

About IFAC
IFAC is the global 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 is comprised of 159 members and associates in 124 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.


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