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Public sector

IPSASB issues four new Exposure Drafts on how to measure assets and liabilities in the public sector

Aug 06, 2021

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released four new Exposure Drafts on how to measure assets and liabilities in the public sector. The Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) encourages stakeholders to send comments directly to the IPSASB by October 25, 2021.

All four Exposure Drafts are focused on the measurement of assets and liabilities in the public sector and therefore should be read in conjunction with each other. 

  • Exposure Draft 76, Conceptual Framework Update: Chapter 7, Measurement of Assets and Liabilities in Financial Statements. This Exposure Draft streamlines the measurement guidance in the Conceptual Framework by eliminating measurement bases that have not been used in the development of standards, inserting new or revised measurement bases, and focusing on bases that are commonly used.
  • Exposure Draft 77, Measurement. This Exposure Draft proposes new guidance in a single standard, which addresses how commonly used measurement bases are applied in practice. The Exposure Draft brings in generic guidance on fair value for the first time. It also proposes a current value measurement basis that is specific to the public sector. This guidance is in response to stakeholder views that a new measurement basis is required as an alternative to fair value for assets held for their operational capacity.
  • Exposure Draft 78, Property, Plant, and Equipment. This Exposure Draft updates IPSAS 17, Property, Plant, and Equipment by adding general measurement guidance and measurement options when accounting for assets within its scope, identifying the characteristics of heritage and infrastructure assets, and proposing new guidance on how these important types of public sector assets should be recognized and measured.
  • Exposure Draft 79, Non-Current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations. This Exposure Draft is aligned with IFRS 5, Non-Current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations. It proposes new guidance on how to account for non-current assets that are classified as held for sale, when they meet specific criteria.

If you would like the PSAB to consider your feedback during the development of their response, please reply to PSAB by October 11, 2021.

Review the press release on the PSAB's website.

IPSASB issues Exposure Draft (ED) 80, Improvements to IPSAS, 2021

Jul 30, 2021

On July 30, 2021, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released Exposure Draft (ED) 80, "Improvements to IPSAS, 2021". PSAB encourages stakeholders to send comments directly to the IPSASB by September 30, 2021.

Review the press release and exposure draft.

Exposure Draft – Employee Benefits, Proposed Section 3251

Jul 28, 2021

On July 28, 2021, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) issued Exposure Draft – “Employee Benefits, Proposed Section 3251,” which outlines principles for the first of several phases of the revised employee benefits standard. In this first phase, the Board focused on discount rate guidance and deferral provisions. Comments are requested by November 25, 2021.

The main features of the Exposure Draft are as follows:

  • Accounting guidance for short-term employee benefits, post-employment benefits, other long-term employee benefits and termination benefits have all been considered in this Exposure Draft.
  • Accounting for defined benefit plans results in a public sector entity recognizing the following amounts in surplus or deficit: current service cost, any past service cost and gain or loss on settlement, and net interest on the net defined benefit liability (asset).
  • Revaluations of the net defined benefit liability (asset) are recognized in net assets and are not reclassified to surplus or deficit in subsequent periods.
  • The discount rate used to discount post-employment benefit obligations is determined based on an assessment of the post-employment benefit plan’s funding status.
  • A simplified approach is used to account for other long-term employee benefits as they are not usually subject to the same degree of uncertainty as the measurement of post-employment benefits. This simplified method does not recognize revaluations in net assets.

Review the exposure draft and In Brief on the PSAB's website.

IPSASB issues Mid-Period Work Program Consultation document

Jul 28, 2021

On July 28, 2021, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released its Mid-Period Work Program Consultation document. PSAB encourages stakeholders to send comments directly to the IPSASB by November 30, 2021. If you would like PSAB to consider your feedback during the development of their response, reply to PSAB by November 16, 2021.

IFAC Releases Latest Point of View: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Public Sector

Jul 19, 2021

On July 19, 2021, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) published a Point of View: “Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Public Sector.”

IFAC notes that the public sector is facing a myriad of competing priorities, including an unprecedented global health crisis and climate emergency, and must make critical decisions that will affect generations to come. In this environment, helping citizens understand how public funds are being managed and spent, as well as the reasoning behind and consequences of decisions made, can meet the heightened need for transparency and accountability necessary to retain and grow stakeholder trust.

IFAC’s Point of View explores the need for strong governance and public financial management (PFM), so that governments and public sector entities around the world can make informed, data-driven decisions for people, the planet, and the economy. It also outlines how the accountancy profession, with its public interest mandate, can support the public sector in achieving long-term financial sustainability and resilience, to help create a better world with stronger economies and fairer societies.

Re­view the full Point of View document on the IFAC's web­site.

 

Response deadlines extended – Concepts underlying financial performance and government not-for-profit strategy documents for comment

Apr 21, 2021

On April 21, 2021, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) announced that the response deadlines of five key documents for comment related to the PSAB’s proposed new Conceptual Framework, Reporting Model, and Government Not-for-Profit Strategy have been extended to June 30, 2021.

COVID-19 and its potential effect on the financial self-sufficiency of government business enterprises

Apr 08, 2021

On April 8, 2021, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released guidance on how to evaluate a government business enterprise's financial self-sufficiency or viability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic may impair the viability of some GBEs, and/or their financial self-sufficiency from revenue outside their controlling government’s reporting entity. “How to Evaluate a GBE’s Financial Self-Sufficiency” examines factors affecting a GBE’s current and future financial performance, which could include the COVID-19 pandemic. It also:  

  • draws on and magnifies CPA Canada Public Sector Accounting Handbook guidance for meeting the financial self-sufficiency criteria in the GBE definition; 
  • outlines factors, changes in factors, and questions for controlling governments to consider; and 
  • represents an important new starting place for comprehensively evaluating a GBE’s financial self-sufficiency.

Review the press release and guidance on the PSAB's website.

In Brief – Public Private Partnerships, Section PS 3160

Apr 01, 2021

On April 1, 2021, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released an overview of PSAB’s new standard on Public Private Partnerships issued in April 2021, which addresses the accounting and reporting of infrastructure procured through public private partnership arrangements.

Review the In Brief on the PSAB's website.

International summary comparison: PSAB’s proposals for a revised conceptual framework and IPSASB’s existing conceptual framework

Mar 26, 2021

On March 26, 2021, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released a summary comparison document to provide an overview of the differences between the two conceptual frameworks.

This comparison is helpful given PSAB’s decision to adapt IPSAS principles when developing future standards.

Review the summary on the PSAB's website.

International summary comparison: PSAB’s proposals for a revised reporting model and IPSASB’s existing reporting model

Mar 26, 2021

On March 26, 2021, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released a summary comparison document to provide an overview of the differences between the two reporting models.

This comparison is helpful given PSAB’s decision to adapt IPSAS principles when developing future standards.

Review the summary on the PSAB's website.

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