October 2002 approximately two months before the FRC strategic direction they

October 2002 approximately two months before the frc

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October 2002, approximately two months before the FRC strategic direction, they attended an AASB meeting to express their support for GAAP/GFS harmonisation (AASB 2002c). Key individual E, as Chair of HoTs, also promoted GAAP/GFS harmonisation in this forum. During his time as HoTs Chair the HoTARAC working group on GAAP/GFS harmonisation was established, which was chaired by PE C. Key
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215 individual E remained a supporter of the project throughout his time as Secretary to the Treasury and Chair of HoTs. Despite Treasury’s strong support for GAAP/GFS harmonisation, there is, however, some indication that Treasury would have preferred a more GFS based ‘harmonisation’. Three interviewees suggested that key individual E, PE C and even HoTs were promoters of GFS within the GAAP/GFS harmonisation project. Further, shortly before the FRC strategic direction, in November 2002, Greg Smith, Executive Director of the Budget Group in Treasury voiced his preference for GFS for budgeting purposes. He also argued that there is no problem with having both GAAP and GFS reports. “ Senator WATSON I can understand it if you are comparing budget figures with budget figures but a lot of people also compare the budget figures with the actual figures of what happens. So there is going to be a differen ce, isn’t there? Mr G. Smith No, we present both. You will find both are presented. There is a consistent set of GFS results they are the statistician based results as well and there is a consistent set of financial reports from the tax office on accounting. Senator WATSON There is no problem with that, then? Mr G. Smith No. You have to make sure you do not swap from one to the other when you make your comparison.” (SELC 2002, E 141) At the same hearing, Treasury was accused of “picking and choosing” accoun ting treatment for some assets and liabilities (SELC 2002, E 77). Notes to the GFS statements stated that the Commonwealth did not value all assets and liabilities at current market price because the accounting standards allowed a choice of treatments. Senator Conroy suggested that Treasury valued bonds that it had repurchased at cost as this was the only way to avoid losses. Key individual E countered that Treasury had followed historic accounting treatment and that there were “practical issues” with va luation because the Commonwealth was “in the process of moving to GFS”. This is surprising, considering the AASB had just rejected the GAAP/GFS harmonisation project and the FRC had not yet issued its strategic direction at the time.
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216 8.3.2 Heads of Treasuries Data analysis suggests that one of the most influential collective actors of the GAAP/GFS harmonisation process was the group of Heads of Treasuries (HoTs). A number of interviewees confirmed this view. HoTs were mentioned in 18 interviews as instrumental to the process. The PEs were aware of the importance of this body, as evidenced in an interview (18/03/2011) with PE A: “Heads of Treasury is a forum of Heads of Treasury and we (PE A and PE D) use
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  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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