IPSASB strengthens governance with advisory group launch

20 Jul 16

The Consultative Advisory Group of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board held its inaugural meeting today in Toronto, Canada.

The CAG is comprised of IPSASB stakeholders from both public and private sectors, and its launch represents a key development for IPSASB. It signals the completion of a strengthened governance framework and the removal of a major barrier to the European Union adopting IPSAS.

Thomas Müller-Marqués Berger, chair of the IPSASB CAG, described the meeting as an “historic event”.

“The meeting itself was highly positive, with strong engagement in the topics, lively debates, and diverse viewpoints that fed into the discussions at the subsequent IPSASB meeting,” he added.

The CAG represents a key part of the board’s formal process of consultation, where representatives of CAG member organisations advise on IPSASB’s strategy, agenda and priorities, matters related to projects – including technical issues or barriers to effective implementation – and standard setting.

It was formed to follow the recommendations of a 2014 governance review, and represents the final piece of IPSASB’s governance jigsaw after the establishment of the Public Interest Committee, which provides oversight.

PFI understands that it will tackle issues raised by stakeholders that in the past have prevented them from adopting IPSAS. For example, when the EU first assessed IPSAS’ suitability for member states, its lack of governance arrangements was cited in its decision not to sign up to the standards.

Müller-Marqués Berger explained that the CAG’s membership comprises a diverse group of individuals, which is the consequence of an open call for nominations that received strong interest.

It consists of representatives from the public and private sectors, and individuals interested or affected by IPSASB’s work. Many of its members are engaged in the preparation, auditing or evaluation of financial reports.

IPSASB chair Ian Carruthers said today’s meeting provided detailed recommendations on three key projects, relating to social benefits, revenue and  non-exchange expenses.

“The IPSASB really appreciated the views of CAG members, which will help ensure that the broad perspectives of their constituencies are considered in the development of each project,” he said.

The next CAG meeting will be held in on 4 December, in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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