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IPSASB Publishes Exposure Draft 60 on Public Sector Combinations

Jan 28, 2016 | New York, New York | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board® (IPSASB®) today released for comment Exposure Draft (ED) 60, Public Sector Combinations.

ED 60 classifies public sector combinations as either amalgamations or acquisitions taking into account control and other factors. A party to the combination must gain control over an operation for it to be treated as an acquisition rather than an amalgamation, but control is not sufficient in itself to determine that a combination is an acquisition.

Instead, gaining of control over an operation creates a rebuttable presumption that the combination is an acquisition. If the acquisition presumption is rebutted, then the transaction is treated as an amalgamation. This approach is different to that proposed in the IPSASB’s 2012 Consultation Paper (CP), Public Sector Combinations, and addresses concerns raised by stakeholders in their responses to that CP.

For recognition and measurement of amalgamations, ED 60 proposes use of the “modified pooling of interests” method of accounting. This method, also referred to as “merger accounting”, recognizes the amalgamation on the date it takes place. For acquisitions, ED 60 proposes use of the “acquisition” method of accounting, applying the same approach as in IFRS 3, Business Combinations. This is supplemented with guidance for public sector-specific situations.

“Public Sector Combinations has been a very challenging project for our board,” said IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers. “The main concern that emerged from submissions to the 2012 IPSASB Consultation Paper was that respondents did not agree that acquisition accounting, as prescribed by IFRS 3, Business Combinations, is appropriate for all combinations in the public sector. Addressing this concern by identifying the factors that distinguish an amalgamation from an acquisition has proved difficult. However, I believe we have now achieved this. We look forward to receiving constituents’ views on our proposals.”

How to Comment

To access the ED and the At-a-Glance document, which provides a summary of the ED, or to submit a comment, please visit the IPSASB website at Comments on the ED are requested by June 30, 2016. The IPSASB encourages IFAC members, associates, and regional accountancy organizations to promote the availability of this ED to their members and employees.

IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers and IPSASB Technical Manager Paul Mason will host a webinar on March 7, 2016, at 10 a.m. EST to discuss the Exposure Draft. This will provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions and get additional information.

About the IPSASB
The IPSASB develops accounting standards and guidance for use by public sector entities. It receives support (both direct financial and in-kind) from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the South African Accounting Standards Board, and the governments of Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

Working at IPSASB
The IPSASB is currently seeking self-motivated individuals with strong project management skills and an interest in technical accounting issues. Candidates should possess good interpersonal skills and either a background in standard-setting or experience in technical accounting analysis. Visit Working at IFAC or email a resume (CV) and cover letter to

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. It is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.8 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.