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Responses due by 22 March 2013

INVITATION TO COMMENT ON THE IPSASB CONSULTATION PAPER ON IPSASs AND GOVERNMENT FINANCE STATISTICS REPORTING GUIDELINES (ED 105)

Issued by the Accounting Standards Board October 2012

ED 105

Commenting on the Exposure Draft


The Accounting Standards Board (the Board) seeks comment on the Consultation Paper on IPSASs and Government Finance Statistics Reporting Guidelines issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) in October 2012. Comment received on this Exposure Draft will be used in formulating a response to the IPSASB. Comment should be submitted in writing so as to be received by 22 March 2013. E-mail responses are preferred. Unless respondents to this Exposure Draft specifically request confidentiality, their comment is a matter of public record once the final pronouncement has been issued. Comment should be addressed to: The Chief Executive Officer Accounting Standards Board P O Box 74219 Lynnwood Ridge 0040 Fax: +2711 697 0666 E-mail Address: info@asb.co.za

Copyright 2012 by the Accounting Standards Board. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Accounting Standards Board. Permission to reproduce limited extracts from the publication will not usually be withheld.

Issued October 2012

Invitation to Comment on IPSASB Consultation Paper on IPSASs and GFS Reporting Guidelines

ED 105

Background and purpose of this Exposure Draft


There are two key types of ex-post financial information produced by governments: (a) government finance statistics on the general government sector (GGS) for the purpose of macroeconomic analysis and decision making, and (b) general purpose financial reports (GPFRs) for accountability and decision making at an entity level, including the whole of government reporting entity. The Consultation Paper issued by the IPSASB focuses on the two reporting frameworks that apply to these two different types of financial information internationally, Government Finance Statistics (GFS) reporting guidelines and IPSASs applicable to accrual based financial statements. While the objectives of financial and statistical reporting are different, there are similarities in the way in which in information is assimilated and reported. One of the key objectives of the Consultation Paper is therefore to assess ways in which the data that is used for financial reporting purposes could be streamlined and enhanced so as to provide relevant, reliable and credible information for use in statistical reports. In South Africa, the South African Reserve Bank reports statistical information to the International Monetary Fund using the requirements of the GFS. This information is largely based on the information reported by entities using Standards of GRAP, which are drawn from IPSASs, as well as other reporting frameworks such as the departmental reporting framework or International Financial Reporting Standards which are similar in many ways to IPSASs. The elimination or reduction of any differences internationally between the GFS and the IPSASs is therefore likely to have an impact on the amount of information that entities are required to collect and report locally. The Consultation Paper therefore aims to: Describe the relationship between IPSASs for accrual based financial statements and GFS reporting guidelines. Identify existing and unnecessary differences between IPSAS and GFS reporting guidelines so as to support their resolution. Describe ways to manage those differences. Review the progress since the IPSASBs last GFS harmonisation initiative in 2005. Harmonise on high-quality reporting practices, consistent with the objectives of both reporting systems. Identify possible opportunities to reduce the differences.

The purpose of this Exposure Draft is to invite comment on the five specific matters for comment, and one preliminary view reached by the IPSASB.

Issued October 2012

Invitation to Comment on IPSASB Consultation Paper on IPSASs and GFS Reporting Guidelines

ED 105

Due process and timetable


The due process followed by the Board is to receive comment on the views proposed in the Consultation Paper as well as the specific matters on which the IPSASB requests comment. These comments will be used to formulate a response to the IPSASB outlining the South African view on these issues. Inputs received as part of this process will also assist the South African member on the IPSASB during the deliberations on this project. Comment is therefore invited from preparers, users, auditors, standard setters and other parties with an interest in public sector financial reporting.

Invitation to comment
Comment on this Exposure Draft is invited by 22 March 2013. The comment period is earlier than the comment date of the international Exposure Draft to enable the Board to review and collate the responses received before making its submission to the IPSASB.

Specific matters for comment and preliminary view


While the Board welcomes comment on any aspects of the Consultation Paper, it would particularly appreciate responses to the specific matters for comment and the preliminary view included in the Consultation Paper (included on pages 3 to 4 of the Consultation Paper). These have been replicated below for ease of reference. Specific matter for comment 1 (See Section 3 and Appendix B) With respect to the summary in Table 2 of progress on reducing differences and the supporting detail in Appendix B: (a) Do you agree that the issues categorized as resolved (Category A in Table 2) are indeed resolved? (b) Are there further differences between IPSASs and GFS reporting guidelines that should be added to this list? If so, please describe these. Specific matter for comment 2 (See paragraphs 4.11 to 4.17) Do you agree that the IPSASB, in conjunction with the statistical community, should develop guidance on the development of integrated Charts of Accounts, which would include (i) an overview of the basic components of an integrated Chart of Accounts, and (ii) wider coverage such as that listed in paragraph 4.16 of this CP? Specific matter for comment 3 (See paragraphs 5.2 to 5.4) (a) Do you think that the IPSASB should take a more systematic approach to reducing differences between IPSASs and GFS reporting guidelines? (b) If so, are there changes other than those listed in paragraph 5.4, which the IPSASB should consider adopting?

Issued October 2012

Invitation to Comment on IPSASB Consultation Paper on IPSASs and GFS Reporting Guidelines

ED 105

Specific matter for comment 4 (See paragraphs 5.5 to 5.19) Are there other areas where IPSAS changes could address GFS differences? Please describe these. Specific matter for comment 5 (See paragraphs 5.20 to 5.28 and page 39) This CP describes three options concerning IPSAS 22: Option A, revisions to improve IPSAS 22; Option B, withdrawal of IPSAS 22 without replacement; and, Option C, replacement of IPSAS 22 with a new IPSAS. (a) Are there any further IPSAS 22 options that should be considered? If so, what are these? (b) Which one of the options do you consider that the IPSASB should consider adopting?

Preliminary view
Preliminary view 1 (See paragraphs 5.29 to 5.34) The IPSASB should amend Study 14, Transition to the Accrual Basis of Accounting: Guidance for Governments and Government Entities, to include a chapter on IPSAS options that reduce differences with GFS reporting guidelines.

General matters for comment


As indicated above, comment on any other matter contained in the Consultation Paper will be welcomed. Comment is most helpful if reference is made to a specific paragraph or group of paragraphs in your response.

Issued October 2012

Invitation to Comment on IPSASB Consultation Paper on IPSASs and GFS Reporting Guidelines