831 Commonwealth Department of Treasury Treasury and Department of Finance and

831 commonwealth department of treasury treasury and

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8.3.1 Commonwealth Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) PE A (senior staff at Finance) and PE B (senior staff at Treasury) have been identified as the originators of the idea of GAAP/GFS harmonisation. They were also instrumental in its advocacy. According to the interview with PE A, immediately after identifying the idea of ‘GAAP/GFS harmonisation’ probably around June 1999 and returning to Australia, PEs A and PE B first gained the support of their respective superiors, who were key individual E in Treasury and key individual F in Finance, as well as F’s predecessor, individual H. As the PEs were in senior positions, they had relatively easy access to their superiors and their proposals had leverage. Interviews with two PEs indicated that they did not only get the support from their superiors, but that they were encouraged in their endeavours. Two PEs spoke about a ‘reformist climate’ at the time. Details of how and whe n senior officials inside Finance and Treasury were convinced to support GAAP/GFS harmonisation are available to a limited extent only. The interview with PE A is the only direct insight.
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214 In Finance, individual H was an economist, who had undertaken a PhD at the University of Chicago and had worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). After his return to Australia, he worked as an advisor for the Deputy Opposition Leader at the time and was Chief of Staff for Treasurer Peter Costello when the Coalition was elected to government. As such, he would have had some involvement with the development of CLERP. He also promoted the introduction of accrual accounting in the public sector to improve efficiency and effectiveness. In a hearing before the JCPAA he argued that “… there will be a read across from the appropriation bills to the portfolio budget statements through to the annual report where agencies will be reporting on their performance against key indicators. Probably for the first time we will have systematic reporting of outputs and outcomes by agencies against performance indicators, and agencies will be able to discuss where they succeeded and where they did not.“ (JCPAA 2000) Individual H’s name was not mentioned in any documents associated with GAAP/GFS harmonisation directly. A Hansard of the SFPALC from 29 May 2001 (SFPALC 2001b) shows, however, that individual H was familiar with differences between GAAP and GFS. Considering his prior experience, training and involvement with the IMF and Treasury, it appears logical that he would have supported the project. As individual H moved on from his position in Finance in January 2002, more evidence about support for GAAP/GFS harmonisation was found from his successor, key individual F. A number of interviewees, predominantly from Finance, the FRC and the AASB, noted the support for the project from key individuals E and F. They were present in government hearings when their staff promoted GAAP/GFS harmonisation and in
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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