an AARF staff member and a PSASB member there had been a number of meetings and

An aarf staff member and a psasb member there had

This preview shows page 250 - 253 out of 354 pages.

an AARF staff member and a PSASB member, there had been a number of meetings and consultations between AARF staff, the PSASB, HoTs and the ABS. The agenda paper also confirms that prior to the staff briefing in October 1999, GAAP and GFS reporting were viewed as two competing reporting regimes and that the choice was for governments to report according to either one or the other or both.
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237 The next reference to the project was in the AASB and FRC annual report for 1999- 2000 published in October 2000, in which GAAP/GFS harmonisation was added to the AASB’s formal agenda as a ‘highest priority’ project in the work program for the financial year 2000-2001. The circumstances of how this happened are not clear. Interviewees from the AASB did not recollect the events and only one interviewee suggested that it might have been because of the initiative and influence of HoTs. However, whilst an issues paper had been considered by the Board, it decided to transfer the project to the 2001/2002 work program (FRC and AASB 2000). In 2001, the HoTARAC working group was established to consider the technical feasibility of GAAP/GFS harmonisation. This task would have typically been undertaken by the AASB. The initiative of HoTs demonstrates a number of points. First, the investment of time and other resources into the working group highlights the significance of GAAP/GFS harmonisation for HoTs. Second, it shows that HoTs recognised the importance of demonstrating the feasibility of the project. In addition, establishing the working group gave influence to HoTs in the potential development of such a standard. Despite the working group, in the following year, the standard setters had made little progress with GAAP/GFS harmonisation. The work program noted: “The objective is to determine whether or not such a reconciliation should form part of general purpose financial reports and if so, whether such inclusion is presently feasible” (FRC and AASB 2001). Despite its ‘highest priority’ status, it appears that the AASB was not going to address GAAP/GFS harmonisation to the satisfaction of the PEs and other public sector constituents. Interviewees argued that public sector constituents were discontented with the slow progress. An AASB member (Interview 04/11/2011) with a public sector background commented:
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238 “From my point of view I would not be parti cularly worried if we did not produce a single new or revised standard for the next six months and spent the time instead thrashing through some vital issues of philosophy, objectives and work priorities, including the reopening of some standards for review, such as AAS31 in my own area of particular interest.” The matter was, however, considered on 7-8 August 2002, 22-23 October 2002 and 4-5 December 2002, as part of the review of the whole of government reporting accounting standard AAS 31. At the 7-8 August meeting, representatives from HoTARAC made a presentation to the AASB, but it was not on GAAP/GFS harmonisation. During the meeting, the Board decided that AASB staff should prepare an issues paper that would
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  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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