IPSASB Approves IPSAS 32-Service Concession Arrangements: Grantor and Annual Improvements Standards

Oct 31, 2011 | New York, New York | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has approved a landmark new standard, IPSAS 32, Service Concession Arrangements: Grantor (IPSAS 32).

Service concession arrangements provide a way for governments and other public sector entities to build the infrastructure necessary to maintain and improve critical public services. The use of service concession arrangements continues to increase due to the ongoing global financial and economic crises. Until now, public sector entities have had no international guidance on how to report such transactions.

IPSASB Chair Andreas Bergmann explained, “IPSAS 32 helps further the IPSASB’s goal of enhancing the transparency and accountability of public sector entities by ensuring that service concession arrangement assets and their related financing are reported. It also improves consistency in how public sector entities account for and report service concession arrangements, which are significant and often complex transactions.”

IPSAS 32 addresses the grantor’s accounting in such arrangements using an approach that is consistent with that used for the operator’s accounting in Interpretation (IFRIC) 12, Service Concession Arrangements issued by the International Financial Interpretations Committee of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). IPSAS 32 is not a convergence project because IFRIC 12 applies only to the operator and not the grantor. However, IPSAS 32 uses the principles in IFRIC 12 for determining which entity—the grantor or the operator—should recognize an asset in a service concession arrangement, in order to ensure that the grantor recognizes a service concession asset it controls.

Hans Hoogervorst, International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Chair said, “The IPSASB’s approval of IPSAS 32 illustrates the close cooperation of the IPSASB and the IASB on issues of mutual concern in the public and private sectors. It closes the gap on significant assets not being recognized by either the grantor or the operator, and is a welcome addition to the body of accounting guidance for the public sector.”

The IPSASB has also published Improvements to IPSASs 2011. The IPSASB’s improvements project is modeled on the IASB’s annual update program. Improvements are made to existing IPSASs to maintain alignment with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), as well as other general improvements. The 2011 amendments relate primarily to improving consistency between the standards. They do not represent substantive revisions to existing IPSASs.

IPSAS 32 and Improvements to IPSASs 2011 are available to download free of charge from the IPSASB website. The IPSASB encourages IFAC members, associates, regional accountancy bodies, and firms to use these materials and to promote their availability to members and employees.

About the IPSASB

The IPSASB develops accounting standards and guidance for use by public sector entities. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by IFAC.

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 164 members and associates in 125 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

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